Wind Turbine Market Opportunities
For the last ten years world wide wind turbine sales have grown approximately 29% annually. Wind power is now the world's fastest growing source of energy. For the next twenty years it is expected to expand at double-digit rates. In 2009, 32,000 megawatts (MW) of turbines wer installed bringing world wide capacity to over 150,000 MW. Modern wind turbines are selling for around $1.5 million per MW. At that price, over $100 billion in wind turbine technology is expected to be sold in 2013 (see figure below).
The US Dept. of Energy, the American Wind Energy Association the National Renewable Energy Laboratory believe that 20% of the nation's electricity can come from renewable wind energy within the next twenty years. This would result in cumulative U.S. wind turbine sales of over $250 billion.
There are two major markets for WHI’s near-ground vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT). The “standalone” market refers to customers who would buy and install WHI’s Linear Array Vortex Turbine Systems (LAVTS) in locations where there are no tall horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs). The “understory” market, sometimes called “bush-tree” refers to the installation of rows of the 50-foot tall LAVTS beneath and between rows of HAWTs in a wind farm.
WHI estimates that 25% of existing wind farms around the world have 14 mph (6.3 m.s) or better winds at ten meters above ground level. The estimate comes from the large geographic areas with features such as passes, ridgelines, mountains, coastal bluffs, mesas and similar features. For example, all the major passes in California qualify, and the state has the existing wind condtions to double or more the capacity of the existing 3000 MWs with understories of LAVTS. Other areas with such features include West Texas and New Mexico, Hawaii, Oregon, Spain and Portugal, Wales and Scotland, Scandinavia, northern plains, the Rocky Mountains, larger areas in China India. Almost every country has some good near ground wind resources.
The Model 1500 LAVTS is designed to maximize output of very high wind, near ground resources with the most capacity per linear foot of row on a high energy site like a ridgeline. The Model 3000 will have the best price per square foot of rotor and the best Levelized Cost of Energy of all the models. With a variable speed generator and the ability to keep the Cpe near its maximum, this turbine promises to be among the best buys in the industry.
The non-wind farm market is growing. For example, the United Kingdom instituted a Feed In Tariff in April 2010 that will allow people, businesses and municipalities to purchase wind turbines up to 100 kW in size and receive a lucrative and guaranteed $0.15 - $0.50 per kWh produced. Installation is restricted to sites with less than 5 MW of capacity. There are few turbines larger than 25 kW and less than 100kW in size that are competing for this market. WHI’s Model 636 LAVTS will do very well for customers in this market who have good near ground wind resource.