This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 02, 2010

AWEA: Growth in U.S. Wind Power Slows in First Quarter

The U.S. wind power industry had its slowest first quarter since 2007 this year, installing only 539 megawatts (MW) of wind power, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). While the industry installed more than 10,000 MW in 2009, the project pipeline has slowed over the past 18 months, a situation that AWEA attributes to a lack of long-term market signals, low power demand, and low prices for power. The industry group notes that the amount of wind power installed in each quarter over the past three years has varied dramatically, falling near 100 MW in the slowest times and rising to more than 4,000 MW in the most active quarters. Illinois led the first-quarter growth with the 300-MW Streator Cayuga Ridge South Wind Power Project, and the state has two more large wind plants under construction. Also noteworthy is the 12.5-MW wind plant erected near Greensburg, Kansas, which is building green as it recovers from a devastating tornado that struck the town in 2007. See the AWEA press release and the first-quarter report (PDF 587 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

The first-quarter trend may continue through the rest of the year, according to a new report from IHS Emerging Energy Research. The study finds that the U.S. wind industry is growth-constrained in 2010 and will face increased competition, holding growth to about 6,300 MW to 7,100 MW. In the long term, however, the IHS report projects 165 gigawatts (GW) of new U.S. wind power capacity through 2025, which would average out to about 11,000 MW per year. The Global Wind Energy Coalition (GWEC) has a similar outlook, expecting the North American market to grow at a steady pace for the next couple years before accelerating again in 2012. The GWEC expects an additional 63 GW of wind capacity to be installed in the United States and Canada over the next five years, which averages out to 12,600 MW per year. The GWEC has an even brighter outlook for global wind power, anticipating average annual growth of 21%, causing global wind capacity to increase from 158.5 GW in 2009 to 409 GW by 2014. See the press releases from IHS and the GWEC, as well as the full GWEC report (PDF 4.0 MB). Download Adobe Reader.