U.S. Department of Energy Releases 2013 Distributed Wind Market Report

Source: By Kevin Smead, Renewables  • Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy released its Distributed Wind Energy Market Report earlier this week, detailing the state of the U.S. wind market. It outlines key facts and figures and provides a snapshot of what the market currently looks like.

The first point of note is that the market is declining. In 2013, 30.4 MW of new wind capacity was added. This represents 2,700 units across 36 states including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. This is an 83% decline from additions in 2012, though it remains in line with an overall 92% decline for the same time period.

Because of the decline in U.S. markets, wind turbine manufacturers began to look overseas at emerging markets. This proved to be beneficial, as exported wind turbines grew from 8 MW in 2012 to 13.6 MW in 2013. U.S. turbines were sent to more than 50 countries including Mexico, Japan, and the U.K.

Still, despite these declines, U.S. suppliers are still king in the U.S., account for 93% of sales on a per-unit basis. This came out to around $36 million in investments.

The majority of installations in 2013 serve the residential sector, making up 40% of the market. This is followed by agricultural applications with 26%, and industrial and commercial at 20%. The remaining 14% falls under government and commercial applications.

Perhaps the most important part of the report is the outlook for 2014, in which the U.S. DOE expects installed wind capacity to be higher in 2014.

“Although new capacity additions of all applications of wind turbines were down in 2013,” the report reads, “the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reported that over 12,000 MW of wind capacity were under construction at the end of 2013 and up to 130 MW of that may be considered distributed wind.”

The full report can be found here.