The domestic market for distributed wind turbines has weakened since the record capacity additions in 2012, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Last year’s installations of mid-size and small wind turbines were the lowest in a decade as relatively low electricity prices, competition from other distributed energy sources, and higher permitting and other nonmaterial costs have presented challenges to the U.S. distributed wind market, the EIA said in a report released last week.
Most distributed wind turbines installed in 2014 were connected directly to distribution lines to serve local loads. Distributed wind turbines can also be installed either off-grid or grid-connected at local sites to offset all or a portion of a site’s electricity consumption.
One of the biggest reasons to negatively impact the U.S. wind industry centers on an expiring investment tax credit (ITC) that Congress never could develop long-term stability for.
Other factors cited in the recent decline in distributed wind installations are the relatively low price of grid electricity and lower cost of solar photovoltaic systems, which also receive the 30% ITC.