New capacity installations of small and medium wind turbines (SMWT) are expected to total more than 3.2 GW from 2014 through 2023, according to a new report from Navigant Research.
According to the market research firm, the market for modern SMWTs has existed for 30 years, though growth has been tied to state and federal incentives in the U.K., Italy and the U.S.
The SMWT sector – defined as any turbine with a rated capacity of less than 500 kW – has recently matured, with growing numbers of manufacturers located around the world and expanding dealer networks. Additionally, Navigant Momentum is building around the lease model that has enabled the distributed solar PV market to expand rapidly in the U.S.
‘The overall outlook for the small and medium wind market in each country will be determined by whether the industry can reduce costs and survive outside of government subsidies,’ says Dexter Gauntlett, senior research analyst with Navigant Research.
‘While agriculture remains the primary customer type for small and medium wind power, several providers have found success displacing diesel in remote locations, sometimes in conjunction with solar PV systems as part of microgrids.’
The leading market for small and medium wind power, according to the report, is the U.K., where feed-in tariff policies have helped create a boom over the last three years.
However, Navigant tempers expectation about the U.S. market, as the wind sector is still struggling due to reduced state incentives and competition from solar PV systems that have dramatically declined in price, notes Navigant.