The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) just released a new report, the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Global Market Study, detailing a sizable advance in the small wind turbine market in the United States.  Small wind turbines, you may know, are those with a capacity of 100 kW or less.  And the U.S. market for this niche grew 78% in 2008, with a total of 17.3 (MW) of new installed capacity.  The report indicates that the growth is due, in large part, to private equity investment in the sector, as well as economies of scale, rising electricity prices, and heightened public interest. 

Of course, there's a federal investment tax credit (ITC) available to purchasers of small wind turbines (under 100 kW) for home, farm, or business use.  It's 30% of the total installed cost of the system, and will propel this segment further over the next eight years. 

Interestingly, U.S. manufacturers sold about half of all small wind turbines installed worldwide, or ~$77 million of the $155 million global total.  Not bad.  I studied the Global Market Study, and compiled a list of eight manufacturers that you should look into, especially if you want to buy a U.S.-manufactured small wind turbine any time soon. 

Eight Manufacturers to Watch:

(1)  Southwest Windpower – maker of the Skystream 3.7, Air Breeze, and Whisper series. 


(2)  Bergey WindPower – maker of the XL.1, 1500, and Excel. 


(3)  Wind Turbine Industries Corp. – maker of the Jacobs Wind Systems.


(4)  AeroVironment – maker of the AVX1000 Architectural Wind turbines.


(5)  Abundant Renewable Energy – maker of the ARE110 and ARE442 turbines.


(6)  Earth Turbines – maker of the Earth Turbine wind system. 


(7)  Mariah Power – maker of the Windspire vertical axis wind turbine.


(8)  Aerotecture International Inc. – maker of the 520H, 610V, 610V1, and 610V2 turbines.


[PDF] Small Wind Global Market Study by AWEA.

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