Global cumulative installed capacity of small wind turbines will increase more than fivefold from 912.6 Megawatts in 2014 to 4.8 Gigawatts (GW) by 2025, at an impressive Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.4%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company’s latest report* states that small wind power capacity, which refers to wind turbines with capacities lower than 100 kilowatts, is expected to grow in European countries including Germany, Spain, Poland, Sweden, and Ukraine, while India and Japan will lead growth in Asia.
Small wind turbines are used to power individual homes, farms and small businesses. They are mounted on freestanding towers and can be installed on properties with as little as one acre of land, using different materials and technologies to large wind turbines, and have the advantage of not requiring huge project financing.
Harshavardhan Reddy Nagatham, GlobalData’s Analyst covering Power, comments: “Small wind turbines are indispensable, and independent of state-sponsored promotions. The end-user cost is the most crucial factor affecting market growth in both developed and developing countries.
“As energy concerns rise, the small wind turbines will emerge as a cheap and convenient solution to growing anxieties over power supply, and will therefore be in substantial demand.”
While the global market for small wind turbines is set to increase, the US market, which led the world with 37.9% of the global cumulative installed capacity in 2008, will see its share of the market shrink. By 2025, it will command only 20%, behind both China and the UK.
Nagatham explains the shift in market share: “Although the future for small wind looks promising in the US, the market faces particular challenges in the form of the economic crisis, zoning and permitting issues, low public awareness, lack of a federal net-metering program, and certification issues.
“In China, on the other hand, small wind turbines are a feasible option as the region is replete with remote areas that do not have access to the grid. As such, installing these turbines for the purpose of powering homes and businesses is more readily considered.”
GlobalData forecasts that China will lead the world in cumulative installed capacity for small wind turbines with 1.84 GW by 2025, while the UK will be second with an estimated 1 GW.