Cambridge, Mass.-based Emerging Energy Research, an advisory and consulting firm that analyzes renewable energy markets, has released a study saying that the U.S. wind market is poised for a record-breaking surge, with cumulative installed wind capacity to surpass 150 GW by 2020.
With 5,329 MW of new wind capacity installed in 2007, the U.S. wind power market was responsible for installing more than 27% of newly added global wind capacity this past year, securing its position as the largest wind growth market by annual installations for the third straight year. Currently, there are over 8 GW of wind projects under construction that are scheduled for operation by year's end, according to EER.
Texas continues to serve as the hub of U.S. wind project development activity, with over 45 GW of wind projects under development in the state. However, future growth in top wind regions – such as the Southwest, Midwest, West and Pacific Northwest – hinges on the completion of numerous proposed transmission projects, according to EER.
Between 2000 and 2007, annual utility-owned wind installations grew from just under 4 MW added in 2000 to more than 820 MW added in 2007, representing approximately 16% of the cumulative installed U.S. wind market as of the first quarter of this year, according to EER.
Substantial investment in greater U.S. wind turbine supply-chain capacity will be key to wind turbine operation equipment manufacturers' ability meet the level of wind growth anticipated in 2008 and beyond. Recent large-scale investments in third-party wind turbine blade and tower supply has created a wind turbine manufacturing corridor, spanning from North Dakota to Texas and from eastern Colorado to Illinois, according to EER.
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SOURCE: Emerging Energy Research