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Report: North American wind energy installations to total $145B by 2017


March 12, 2012
By Alyssa Dalton

March 12, 2012 – According to a recent report from Pike Research, installations in the United States–reportedly the home to the second largest wind market in the world–will more than double from 2011 to 2017, passing pass 125 GW in five years. Of that total, onshore installations are estimate to account for more than 97%.

Overall, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that approximately $145 billion will be invested in onshore and offshore wind energy installations between 2011 and 2017 in North America.

“Recovery is gradually taking hold across the wind industry in North America, and many key industry players are optimistic about the North American market as turbine costs continue to drop dramatically,” said research analyst Dexter Gauntlett. “However, the uncertainty surrounding the extension of the production tax credit in the U.S. continues to prevent the country from reaching its full potential.”

“The United States produces enough electricity from wind energy to power 10 million homes – but there is still plenty of room to grow. Wind still accounts for only 2.3% of total electricity generation in the United States, compared with around 20% of total generation in some countries,” he continued.

The report noted that one factor powering the wind industry is consolidation, as over the past three years, various high-level mergers and acquisitions result in more dynamic, vertically integrated companies.

“While the majority are pure technology plays, the increasing trend is for manufacturers to acquire wind farm development companies (or “downstream integrate”) as a strategy for ensuring the use of their turbines,” it said, pointing to Siemens’ work with the Cape Wind offshore installation as an example.

Pike Research’s report, Wind Energy Outlook for North America, highlights North American opportunities in the onshore and offshore wind power markets, as well as an examination of challenges facing the industry. It examines technology innovations that could influence the future direction of the market, and also features detailed profiles of industry players, including a competitive regional analysis of the major wind energy markets across their respective technology, policy, and capital environments. Market forecasts extend through 2017 and include projections for installed capacity, installation costs, and offshore production revenue, all segmented by onshore, offshore, region, and country.