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Global small wind turbines installed capacity to increase fivefold by 2025

Global cumulative installed capacity of small wind turbines is set to increase from 912.6 Megawatts in 2014 to 4.8 Gigawatts (GW) by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.4%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest report states that small wind power capacity, which refers to wind turbines with capacities lower than 100 kilowatts, is expected to grow in European countries including Germany, Spain, Poland, Sweden, and Ukraine, while India and Japan will lead growth in Asia.

Small wind turbines are used to power individual homes, farms and small businesses. They are mounted on freestanding towers and can be installed on properties with as little as one acre of land, using different materials and technologies to large wind turbines, and have the advantage of not requiring huge project financing.

Harshavardhan Reddy Nagatham at GlobalData comments: “Small wind turbines are indispensable, and independent of state-sponsored promotions. The end-user cost is the most crucial factor affecting market growth in both developed and developing countries.

“As energy concerns rise, the small wind turbines will emerge as a cheap and convenient solution to growing anxieties over power supply, and will therefore be in substantial demand.”

While the global market for small wind turbines is set to increase, the US market, which led the world with 37.9% of the global cumulative installed capacity in 2008, will see its share of the market shrink. By 2025, it will command only 20%, behind both China and the UK.

Nagatham explains the shift in market share: “Although the future for small wind looks promising in the US, the market faces particular challenges in the form of the economic crisis, zoning and permitting issues, low public awareness, lack of a federal net-metering program, and certification issues.

“In China, on the other hand, small wind turbines are a feasible option as the region is replete with remote areas that do not have access to the grid. As such, installing these turbines for the purpose of powering homes and businesses is more readily considered.”

GlobalData forecasts that China will lead the world in cumulative installed capacity for small wind turbines with 1.84 GW by 2025, while the UK will be second with an estimated 1 GW.  

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05 December 2015
There were 10,000 Water Pumping windmills in Lesotho(Greece),100,000 small wind turbines in Mongolia. I surveyed in my Home District Nellore(Andhra Pradesh),India and found that during 1940s when there was no power 30 small wind turbines mainly for a battery radio and a DC bulb were in use. With the advent of electricity these disappeared. There is the need to revive them.
Because of limited demand most of the small wind turbines are imported resulting in exorbitant cost. Wind turbine technology is the oldest among renewables. To reduce the cost indigenization is the need of the hour. I will illustrate this with an example: During 1980s the then Department of Non Conventional Energy Sources(DNES) now MNRE under a demonstration scheme imported small wind turbines at an exorbitant cost and installed them across the country free of cost. None worked beyond 6 months. On the other hand an "Uneducated"(6th Class) person designed a wind turbine using palm tree trunk as tower, made his own design of wooden blades and changed the windings of automobile generator to have low RPM at ICAR Guest House in Mandapam, Near Rameswaram on the sea coast in Tamil Nadu, India. He was using the power for a small fridge, radio and one bulb. I saw it in 1990 and again in 2000 working well. We have a notion that," Rural is bad, Urban is better and Foreign is best". But the above case proves otherwise. Technology is "Culture Specific" while Science is Universal.

I have designed a hand operated battery charger and Micro hydro device for low heads using generator from a small wind turbine.
If low RPM generators can be supplied at an affordable cost, one can use them in devices in Wind, Solar, Micro hydel etc.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP)
Renewable Energy Expert

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