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China to take world lead in $3bn 2020 small-wind power market, says report

GlobalData research shows China will dominate small-wind power market by 2020, after leading world with 266MW installed wind capacity in 2012

Small-wind power turbine
The small-wind power market is expected to grow from USD 609m in 2012 to USD 3bn by 2020

China is expected to lead the world in small-wind power, which is set to reach USD 3bn by 2020, new research claims. A report from research and consulting firm GlobalData shows China led the world in global small-wind power in 2012 with an installed wind capacity totalling 266MW. Factors in the report, including the country’s large rural population and high number of manufacturers, now shows small-wind power has "huge potential" to grow further in China.

Prasad Tanikella, GlobalData senior analyst, said: “Small-wind power has huge potential in China, due to the large rural population and the requirement for distributed power systems. The country also has more than 80 small-wind turbine manufacturers, which produce the largest number of these turbines.”

China, the US and UK contributed to more than 80 per cent of the global small-wind power installed capacity in 2012, with 266 MW 216 MW and 118 MW, respectively, according to the GlobalData report.

The small-wind power market is expected to increase from USD 609m in 2012 to USD 3bn by 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 22 per cent. According to GlobalData’s latest report, the global small-wind turbine cumulative installed capacity is also expected to witness a significant increase from 728.3MW in 2012 to 4,644.7MW by 2020, at a CAGR of 26.1 per cent.

The small-wind power market could however face some obstacles in the form of economic slowdown, along with zoning and permitting challenges, the report said. Further hindrance could be caused by low public awareness, lack of net-metering programs and certification issues.

Tanikella said: “Poor permitting practices and unnecessary restrictive regulations are the major market barriers discouraging customer interest and investment. Streamlining the permitting process will be crucial towards ensuring that the growth of wind installation is not hampered by administrative issues.”