Wind technologies market report
The Department of Energy's annual market report is hotly anticipated, filled as it is with all the sector's essential data from the last 12 months. We're pleased to be able to offer a critical overview of all the salient points from this recently-published whitepaper.
The US wind power industry experienced a trying year in 2010, with a significant reduction in new builds compared to both 2008 and 2009.
The delayed impact of the global financial crisis, relatively low natural gas and wholesale electricity prices, and slumping overall demand for energy countered the ongoing availability of existing federal and state incentives for wind energy deployment.
The fact that these same drivers did not impact capacity additions in 2009 can be explained, in part, by the "inertia" in capital-intensive infrastructure investments: 2009 capacity additions were largely determined by decisions made prior to the economy-wide financial crisis that was at its peak in late 2008 and early 2009, whereas decisions on 2010 capacity additions were often made at the height of the financial crisis.
Cumulative wind power capacity still grew by a healthy 15 per cent in 2010, however, and most expectations are for moderately higher wind power capacity additions in 2011 than witnessed in 2010, though those additions are also expected to remain below the 2009 high.