U.S. Wind Poised to Hit 150GW by 2020

The booming U.S. wind market is set to cross the 150 gigawatt mark by 2020, according to a report from market research firm Emerging Energy Research (EER). That includes 5.33 GW installed last year, and another 8 GW currently under construction and planned for completion by the end of this year, EER says. But it will take actually double that 2020 projection — a total of 300 gigawatts — if we want to get 20 percent of our electricity from wind like the DOE and T. Boone Pickens think we can.

Well, we’ve got to start somewhere. Where’s the growth coming from initially? EER credits increased participation from utilities for that. According to the firm, utility-owned wind capacity grew from 4 MW of added capacity in 2000 to 820 MW added in 2007. Consequently, US wind independent power producers will be competing more and more with huge utilities like Xcel, MidAmerican and Alliant who currently dominate their regions’ wind markets.

All of this projected wind power capacity means we’ll need more wind turbines, a commodity in short supply. EER expects the domestic wind turbine market to reach $12 billion by the end of this year and then $16 billion by 2015. T. Boone alone has already ordered an initial $2 billion worth of turbines and is rumored to planning to spend several more billion.

Images courtesy of Emerging Energy Research.