Small wind turbines have experienced the most growth in the UK in 2012, according to a report released by Renewables UK.
Small-medium wind installations (from 15kW-100kW) increased by 21% from 2011 to 2012. Additionally, it is predicted that the small-scale wind sector (<100kW) will continue to grow well into 2014. Already 1,864 new full-time jobs were created in this part of the market since 2010.
Here are some key stats from the report regarding the small-med wind turbine market:
- The UK’s market size – £105.65M
- The number of small and medium wind turbines deployed in the UK between 2005 and 2012 – 23,597
As you can see from the figure below, the small-medium sector of the wind market has shown the most growth in capacity over the years.
However, there is some concern that a lack of government backing in the form of feed-in-tariffs and planning permissions for the small wind sector will reduce growth by up to 8% in 2013, according to manufacturers.
The breakdown of the market shows that the majority of these wind turbines are installed on farms:
“According to the survey results, small and medium wind turbines are most commonly installed on farms (64%), followed by households in rural settings (22%), businesses (9%), community groups (3%), and other types of applications, such as battery charging (2%).”
This report is encouraging for the manufacturers of small wind turbines, however, the robustness of any wind energy market is based mainly on government support. Hopefully politicians will continue to see value in this renewable energy source, and will back initiatives with positive regulatory changes.