BOULDER, COLO. — According to a recent report from Pike Research, the market for wind turbines will continue to grow through 2015, driven by new generation additions as well as replacements of smaller, older turbines with larger, more efficient turbines. The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that the turbine market will resume its growth in 2011, following three years of stagnation, and cumulative wind turbine deployments will exceed 40,000 units during the period from 2010 to 2015. In 2008, North American wind power generation capacity passed the 27 gigawatt (GW) mark by adding almost 9 GW from the year before, which represented the largest individual gain of any region in the world.

“The year 2009 will be a defining moment for wind power markets around the world,” said managing director Clint Wheelock. “The global economic crisis that began in late 2008 has thrown the industry into confusion, along with most global industries. Still, we see cause for optimism in the longer term as capital markets recover and the regulatory environment improves for wind energy.”

In addition to new deployments, another growth driver will be the replacement of aging turbines with newer, larger, more efficient models. By 2015, Pike Research forecasts that 45 percent of all turbine installations in North America will be replacements.

Pike Research’s study, “Wind Energy Outlook for North America,” analyzes the opportunities and challenges facing wind power in North America — particularly turbine manufacturers — in the current economic and political climate. Key players in the wind energy business are profiled and the report also includes rich quantitative analysis including market sizing, segmentation, market share analysis of turbine vendors, and growth forecasts for the United States and Canada through 2015.

Texas home to the world’s largest wind farm
As evidence of the growth of the wind energy market in North America, E.ON recently announced that it put the world’s largest wind farm into operation in Roscoe, Texas. After a construction period of just over two years, 627 wind turbines with an installed capacity of approximately 780 MW are now operating. They can generate electricity for more than 230,000 homes. The wind farm consists of four sections and covers an area of about 150 square miles.

“The completion of Roscoe is a major success for our team and another milestone in the development of renewables in our power generation portfolio. In just under two years we have increased our wind park capacities worldwide to 2,600 MW, with over half of that total — 1,500 MW — in the United States,” said Frank Mastiaux, CEO of E.ON Climate & Renewables, who is responsible for the E.ON Group’s renewable activities. “With large-scale projects like Roscoe we are helping renewables to achieve a faster breakthrough in economic and technological terms. For this purpose we will invest € 8 billion (about US$11.7 billion) worldwide up to 2011. Our aim is to reach a capacity of 10,000 MW in 2015. North America is one of the most attractive markets for renewables worldwide, especially for onshore wind plants.”