The American market may see a potential 30-40% drop in new installed capacity this year over last, but projections by renewables consultancy Emerging Energy Research (EER) point to a strong 2010 and a record 2011. Three factors are likely to bring the American market back: a recovery of liquidity in the financial sector, higher prices for natural gas power generation, and a successful implementation of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus bill passed earlier this year, which included important provisions for the wind sector. EER projects three scenarios of recovery for 2010: a slow recovery with 6.2 GW installed, a base case scenario with 8.3 GW installed (the same volume as in 2008), and a rapid liquidity recovery with 10.2 GW installed. Stronger capacity additions are expected in 2011. Even in a slow recovery scenario, these are projected at 8.1 GW, 10.2 GW for a base case and as much as 12 GW under a fast recovery. "Although the stimulus will not be implemented in time to save 2009 growth, 2010 and 2011 are setting up to be record years for the industry," says EER. In the first quarter of 2009, 4266 MW of new wind farms came online, says EER, describing these as a "carry over" from last year. It expects about 6.3 MW to come online by the end of the year.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol