North American wind generation capacity seen doubling

The United States is already the largest producer of wind-generated electricity, but it is just 2.3 percent of the total power created across the country.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

The prospects for wind generation technology installations across North America should more than double over the next six years to almost 126,000 megawatts (126 gigawatts) of generation capacity, according to a new market report from Pike Research.

Right now, there is about 53,000 megawatts (53 gigawatts) of capacity across the geography.

Pike bases its prediction on ongoing commitment to wind technologies, despite the difficult financial climates in both the United States and Canada. One factor is improving efficiencies and lower cost models for the technology that is being selected for large-scale generation projects. As Pike reported earlier this month, though, small-wind technology should not be discounted. The report probably doesn't account for the uncertainty over solar technology after the Solyndra debacle. (The typical knee-jerk reaction when someone gets burned on an emerging technology.)

Between now and 2017, about $145 billion will be spent on onshore and offshore wind turbines in the North America market. (That compares with about $820 billion that will be spent around the globe on wind technology.)

What's more, apparently the United States already produces more wind-generated energy than any other nation, enough to serve the electricity needs of 10 million homes. It is just that this is a small drop in the bucket compared with what the United States consumes; only 2.3 percent of the total power generation across the country.

Denmark, for comparison, generates 20 percent of its electricity from wind power.

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