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Home > Feature Articles > Alternative Energy Solutions > Wind Power for Alternative Energy Sourcing

Small Wind Energy Sytems Growing in US and UK

Small wind – wind-powered electric systems sized for homes, farms, and small businesses in the US is growing rapidly.

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US Small Wind Energy Systems

The American Wind Energy Association has welcomed the campaign launched by T. Boone Pickens to strengthen U.S. economic and energy security by boosting wind power production and confirmed that ramping up wind power quickly on a large scale is feasible if the government enacts the correct policies, starting with renewal of the production tax credit.

Small wind – wind-powered electric systems sized for homes, farms, and small businesses in the US – as an industry has experienced major growth in the past decade. These turbines, which are defined as 100 kilowatts in capacity and below, have seen their market grow significantly and the industry has set ambitious growth targets continuing at 18-20% through 2010.

The U.S. is the leading world producer of small wind turbines, the vast majority of which are manufactured on U.S. soil. These machines are used by individuals to lower their electric bills, become independent of their electric grid, and to avoid the unpredictability of traditional energy prices.

England (UK) Almost Doubles Small Wind System Installation in 2008

The UK is set to install twice as many small wind systems in 2008 than it did in 2007, according to the renewable energy trade association BWEA. (Download PDF)

According to the BWEA Small Wind Systems UK Market Report published September 2008, the market for small wind systems which generate less than 50kW of power will see 7,844 installed this year, compared with just 3,459 in 2007.

The BWEA also predicts that the rapid expansion of the market will continue with 13,611 units expected to be installed in 2009.

Microturbines have been widely criticised in the press for failing to deliver expected levels of energy, however, the industry has maintained that small-scale turbines can generate significant levels of energy when installed in the right locations. The BWEA estimates that under such circumstances a typical small wind turbine will recoup its value within five years of installation.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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