According to a new analysis from MAKE Consulting, new wind power installations will increase 12% this year over 2010, representing ‘tepid growth’ for the sector.
The firm's annual ‘U.S. Wind Power’ study for 2011 suggests that the U.S. market is ‘beset by two opposing narratives.’ Installations had fallen from 9,922 MW in 2009 to 5,573 MW in 2010 – a 44% decrease. So, although 12% growth for 2011 is a step in the right direction, that level of activity is still far from the volume of installations in 2008 and 2009.
Nonetheless, MAKE Consulting says development activity has picked up again, wind turbine orders have seen upward recovery, and the U.S. retains some of the best wind resources and open land for development.
Future growth will hinge largely on federal policy support, the firm adds. MAKE Consulting is ‘cautiously optimistic’ that lawmakers will not allow the wind industry to fall off a policy cliff in 2013, as it did in 2001 and 2003.
‘Congress will find it very difficult to say no to continued support for wind energy and the thousands of jobs it supports in the U.S.,’ says MAKE Consulting director Daniel Shreve.
For more information about the report, visit make-consulting.com.