After several years of steady growth, the global small wind sector has now encountered challenges, according to a report from the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA).
According to WWEA, changes to the U.K.'s feed-in tariff mechanism in November 2012 greatly impacted the U.K. market as it reduced the deployment of sub-50 kW turbines by nearly 80%. In fact, WWEA notes, only 500 units were installed in the U.K. during 2013 – a decrease of 86% compared with 2012 and the lowest level in four years.Â
China – which accounts for 41% of global small wind capacity – is the global small wind market leader. The Chinese market reached 625,000 small wind units installed at the end of 2013. However, just 55,000 units were added in 2013 – 15,000 fewer than in 2012.
Globally, there were more than 870,000 small wind turbines installed – an increase of 8% compared with the previous year, when 806,000 units were registered.
The U.S. accounts for 30% of the global small wind market, notes WWEA.