The move to electric vehicles and reaching cost parity with fossil fuels are two factors that will drive worldwide demand for wind turbines to up to $130 billion by 2016.
That's according to a recent study by Wintergreen Research, "Utility Scale Wind Turbines Market Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2010 to 2016."
"The use of utility scale wind generators represents an emerging high growth market," said Susan Eustis, the lead author of the study."New technologies have increased the efficiency of wind based electricity generation and of systems installations both onshore and offshore."
Wind turbine installations accounted for 62 percent (17 GW) of the new electricity generation capacity installed in the European Union (EU) in 2009. In the United States, the comparable penetration of new generation was 39 percent.
Energy technologies are supported by federal governments worldwide and are gaining an increasing proportion of subsidies, the study said.
The U.S. the government accountability office (GAO) examined federal incentives for electricity between Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 and FY 2007 and noticed that tax expenditures largely go to fossil fuels. About $13.7 billion was provided to fossil fuels and $2.8 billion to renewables.
Wind power systems have proved that they can readily be accommodated into existing fossil fuel and nuclear electric system operations reliably and economically.
According to the study, electric vehicles provide a significant market thrust to the need for wind generated electricity. Electric vehicles will depend on curbside and garage based metered delivery of electricity.
The authors of the study believe the availability of hydrogen storage and electricity generation in the form of stationary fuel cells that work in campus and substation environments is going to impact wind generated electricity.
Utility scale wind turbine markets at $35.6 billion in 2009 are anticipated to reach $130 billion by 2016. This market will have greater access to necessary capital. Only natural gas will compete with the renewable sources of energy for utilities as new capacity is put in place and aging existing facilities are retired, to be replaced with more modern facilities.
Global wind energy market forecast by region for the years 2009-2013 courtesy of Global Wind Energy Council
If the study's conclusions are borne out, then the difficulties on 2010 would only be a temporary disruption.
COMMENTARY: There are so many different wind energy forecasts. It's up, it's down. I wish somebody would get it right for a change.
Courtesy of an article dated August 19, 2010 appearing in RenewablesBiz