SMALL WIND TO GET BETTER, CHEAPER
Small Wind Power; Demand Drivers and Barriers, Technology Issues, Competitive Landscape, and Global Market Forecasts
Dexter Gauntlett and Peter Asmus, 3Q 2011 (Pike Research)
"Power generation from small wind turbines is an increasingly important part of the broader market for renewable distributed energy generation. Small wind power provides cost-effective electricity on a highly localized level, both in remote settings as well as in conjunction with power from the utility grid. Growth in the industry is being driven by increased awareness of small wind technologies as an alternative source of electric power, the desire for community ownership of power generation, and the recognition that investment in small wind turbines can be an enduring source of economic development for the locales in which they are deployed."
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"Despite their benefits, small wind turbines have not enjoyed the same level of innovation when it comes to unique financing and business models, particularly when compared with distributed solar energy. This is largely because small wind turbines are currently more efficient than solar photovoltaic systems and, therefore, more economical from a levelized cost of energy perspective. In a region with adequate wind resources, the payback for a small wind system can be 5-10 years and does not require creative financing, like solar often does. Business models that are gaining traction in the small wind sector include leasing programs and utility or third-party ownership, and as the technology develops further, Pike Research anticipates that the price of turbines will continue to fall…"