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Global capacity of ‘small wind’ at 440 MW by end of 2010

Global capacity of ‘small wind’ at 440 MW by end of 2010
China, along with Britain, Canada, Germany, Spain, Poland, Japan and Italy, was cited in the report as a “medium sized market.”

The total global capacity of small wind turbines stood at 440 megawatts during the end of 2010, states a new report from the World Wind Energy Association.

Small wind turbines are defined as falling in the rated capacity range of 6 watts to 300 kilowatts. To date, around 330 manufacturers of such turbines have been identified in 40 countries.

The total number of small wind turbines installed all over the world stood at around 656,000 units after the end of 2010, for a total generation capacity of over 382 gigawatt-hours.

The largest shares of small wind turbines were said to be found in China (450,000 units/166 megawatts) and the United States (144,000 units/179 megawatts).

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WWEA president He Dexin noted that while small wind turbines still only had a minor share of the wind power market, the potential for growth was huge.

"Wherever the wind blows, small wind turbines can provide electricity at affordable prices to local citizens, be it for rural electrification like in China or in other developing countries or connected to the grid, like often in the industrialized countries," said Mr. Dexin.

China, along with Britain, Canada, Germany, Spain, Poland, Japan and Italy, was cited in the report as a "medium sized market" for small wind.

The association expects that the total installed small wind capacity will reach 3,800 MW's by 2020 for a total generation capacity of 750 MW.

One factor that was named as having the potential to make or break the market for small wind in a particular company was government support.

"Short and comprehensive permission procedures, appropriate feed-in tariffs or similar support schemes and comprehensive standard and certification schemes should be implemented in the near future," said association secretary general Stefan Gs"anger.

The report noted that only a few governments are offering specific support policies for small wind with less than 10 offering feed-in-tariffs.

China, the world's largest market for small wind, does not include it in its feed-in tariff scheme. Neither does the U.S., except in the case of Hawaii and Vermont.

But Britain, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Israel, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, Taiwan and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Nova Scotia provide a FiT scheme for small wind. – K.R. Jalbuena



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