Turn Baby, Turn: Small Wind Exports Generate more than Power
Distributed Wind Market Report highlights the U.S. wind energy boom
In contrast to energy sent via transmission lines from large wind farms to distant end-users, distributed wind energy systems produce electricity that is consumed on site. Residents, farmers, commercial buildings, universities, and even small municipalities can take advantage of distributed wind systems.
According to the 2014 Distributed Wind Market Report—prepared by PNNL researchers in conjunction with the DOE's Wind and Water Power Technologies Office—nearly 74,000 distributed wind turbines are now in operation within the U.S., totaling 906 megawatts of power. That's enough electricity to power roughly 168,000 average U.S. homes for one year. Close to 1,700 units were deployed in 2014, a $170 million investment, with installations of large-scale turbines (greater than 1 MW) growing almost threefold.
While the use of distributed wind power in the U.S. is noteworthy in and of itself, the report found international demand for the technology and improvements in it has given rise to a strong export market for U.S. manufacturers. Distributed wind exports accounted for nearly 80 percent of 2014 U.S. manufacturers' sales. In particular, international demand for small wind units (up through 100 kW) generated $60 million in revenue. The growth of distributed wind exports supports domestic manufacturing and supply chain jobs.
For more information, read DOE's Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Distributed Wind Power.