According to a new report issued by Pike Research, wind installations in North America will exceed 125 GW by 2017, 97% of which will come from onshore installations.
Pike also anticipates that between 2011 and 2017, an estimated $145 billion will be invested into North American wind energy installations.
While research analyst Dexter Gauntlett notes the optimism in the industry due to falling turbine costs, there is still much room for improvement. . .
“The uncertainty surrounding the extension of the production tax credit in the U.S. continues to prevent the country from reaching its full potential. The United States produces enough electricity from wind to power 10 million homes, but there is still plenty of room to grow,” Gauntlett says. “Wind still accounts for only 2.3% of total electricity generation in the United States, compared with around 20% of total generation in some countries.”
Over the last three years, one of the driving forces in the wind energy industry has been its consolidation. A series of mergers and acquisitions have aided in the shift towards strong, vertically integrated wind energy companies.
We're also seeing manufacturers financing or acquiring wind farm developers in an effort to secure the use of their turbines. This is something we saw Siemens (NYSE:SI) do with the Cape Wind project last year.