With wind turbine prices falling and government incentives rising, more businesses should be able to adopt wind power in the coming year, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
In identifying top wind trends for 2010, the AWEA notes that the 30 percent federal investment tax credit on small wind systems has been expanded for eight years.
Additionally, while some wind farms have been put on hold due to environmental concerns related to the proposed sites, the industry should expect some clarity in 2010. The Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to issue its guidance on the subject.
Here are some more predictions from AWEA:
– Wind power should continue its six-year trend as the second-leading source of new power generating capacity in the U.S., trailing natural gas power plants.
– Utilities and operators of electric grids will become more comfortable with integrating wind energy with minimal added costs. However, AWEA predicts that the fossil fuel industry may try some backdoor methods of imposing new or unfair costs on wind plants.
– Wind turbines will become more powerful in 2010, AWEA predicts. There are already more than 1,000 2 MW wind turbines in operation in the U.S., and a new wind project in Shephard’s Flat, Ore., ordered 338 2.5 MW turbines from GE.
With regard to wind power progress in 2009, AWEA said that strong support for a national renewable electricity standard in the House of Representatives was a highlight.
Additionally, AWEA noted that electricity from wind turbines installed through 2009 will save more than 20 billion gallons of water annually, which would otherwise be used for steam or cooling in conventional power plants.
To see more 2009 wind highlights, click here.
Globally, wind power is gaining a reputation for its potential to solve a multitude of problems.