Wind turbines appear to finally be making a dent in power generation, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). In their annual small wind report published recently, they announce that small wind turbine installations have exploded in the last three years.
Ideal for single home power generation, the number of installed “small wind” turbines (under 100 kilowatts of capacity) grew by fifteen percent compared to last year, equaling almost 10,000 new units. This can be explained by a combination of simple supply and demand, as well as a new found 30% tax credit for renewable energy systems, passed back in October 2008. According to an insider at AWEA, roughly 100,000 units have been sold since 1980, half of which only occurred in the last three years.
Unfortunately, small turbines have been plagued with the constant problem of power generation. A study done in Massachusetts on their small wind turbines, along with a separate study in the United Kingdom on roof-mounted microturbines, both yielded mediocre results. Wind turbulence and fluctuations hampered optimal power generation, typically a wind speed of 10 miles per hour.
This, however, has not stopped U.S. manufacturers. Leaders in production, about two-thirds of all small wind turbines sold in the world came from the U.S., says AWEA’s annual report, which you can read here.