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Small-wind power market to grow extensively

The small-wind power market is expected to increase hugely, from 609 million in 2012 to 3 billion by 2020. 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. China, the USA and the UK contributed to more than 80% of the global small-wind power installed capacity in 2012, with 266MW, 216MW and 118MW respectively. Although the future for small-wind looks promising, the market could face some obstacles in the form of the economic slowdown, along with zoning and permitting challenges. Further hindrance could be caused by low public awareness, lack of net-metering programmes and certification issues.
 
Most focus is normally on utility scale wind turbines and projects, but we believe that the small and medium-size turbines also deserve attention. For the fifth time, WWEA, in cooperation with New Energy Husum, will be holding the 6th World Summit for Small-Wind, WSSW2014, from 20 to 22 March 2014. The WSSW2014 takes place at the same time as the New Energy Fair Husum, the international trade fair for small-wind and decentralised renewable energy. The WSSW2014 will feature ‘Small-wind – success stories from all over the world’, an overview of the benefits and impacts of the small-wind industry in different countries and regions. Speakers from China, Cuba, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey and the USA will present the latest achievements of and challenges for the small-wind sector. Also the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will present its activities in the field of small-wind turbines.
 
In this issue you will also find an article about a small-wind turbine. According to the Ireland-based company Airsynergy, its new turbines can double the power output for less than a 20% increase in the capital cost. Airsynergy founder Jim Smyth felt that the traditional turbine’s performance could be improved by applying air management techniques that he had used in his earlier career as an engineer designing air-conditioning systems. The shroud enhancement unit (the cowl system in front of the wind turbine) uses the wind to move, redirect and accelerate itself while simultaneously alleviating the pressure build-up problem that has blighted previous wind augmentation devices. Airsynergy’s 5kW turbine is currently undergoing independent power performance testing by DNV GL. On page 7 you can read the full article.
 
EWEA 2014
The EWEA 2014 Annual Event is being held from 10 till 13 March in Barcelona. This wind energy event presents an international platform for the wind energy industry to showcase and demonstrate its latest products and services. With Europe’s industry leaders and policy-makers attending, the event provides a periodic opportunity for the wind energy sector to meet with decision-makers and define the strategic direction for wind energy activities in Europe. Of course the team from Windtech International will be there and there will be a report about it in a later issue. I hope to see many of you in Barcelona.
 
Enjoy reading.
 
Floris Siteur
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