The wind power industry is more developed than most types of renewable energy, but one segment — small wind power systems with turbines of 100 kilowatts or less — is just beginning to pick up steam. These systems, buoyed by government incentives and increased interest in clean sources of electricity, are gaining traction in a number of niche applications in residential and commercial markets, according to a new report by Pike Research released today. The market research firm forecasts that the global small wind market will expand to $412 million in revenue by 2013 from $203 million this year, a compound annual growth rate of nearly 20 percent. During that same period, worldwide installed capacity of small wind turbines will reach 115 MW from about 49 MW today, the study predicts.
“Small wind energy is less expensive than solar on a cost per watt basis which is driving more and more businesses and rural consumers to give it a second look,” David Link, a Pike Research senior analyst, said in a statement. Link said small wind has been most successful in residential off-grid, agricultural, community microgrid and remote telecom network power applications, as well as at schools and government buildings. Read More about Tailwinds Strong for Small Wind Industry: Report