Individuals and businesses around the world have shown growing interest in small wind turbines to provide green energy, according to a new report.
A niche industry, the small wind turbine market saw $203 million in revenue in 2009, and is expected to grow to $412 million by 2013, according to Pike Research's Small Wind Power report, released Wednesday.
On a cost-per-watt basis, small wind turbines can be less expensive than solar panels, according to the report, written by senior analyst David Link. That fact is especially true in the United States and United Kingdom, where government incentives and tax credits make the market more favorable than in years past.
Though some see wind turbines as "visual pollution," government support is still building for the technology, according to the report.
Since wind power is an unreliable energy source -- when it's windy, it's windy, when it's not, it's not -- wind turbines are often paired with another energy source. That could be a hurdle for growth in the segment, since some municipalities have rules that make it harder to deploy these hybrid arrangements, according to the report.
According to an American Wind Energy Association report (.pdf), there was a 78 percent increase in small wind turbine sales from 2007 to 2008. Overall installations, however, continue to be quite modest in number -- just 10,000 in 2008.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com