The market for small and medium wind turbines (SMWTs) is turbulent due to policy drivers like feed-in tariffs (FITs) weakening in several of the largest markets around the world according to the report Market Data: Small and Medium Wind Turbines from Navigant Research.
With competition from solar PV prices continuing to decline, the obstacles are mounting for this industry—which was seeing strong growth just 2 years ago. Despite these challenges, there remains a non-trivial upside for distributed wind power given the large amount of wind resource potential still available. In addition, several growing and emerging markets should keep the industry going into the foreseeable future. The market for SMWTs is continuing to mature, with wind lease programs becoming a more popular business model in the industry and the applications for small wind turbines expanding. With a number of acquisitions, mergers, and bankruptcy filings, the manufacturers and developers in the SMWT industry are continuing to evolve. The key industry players, however, are beginning to set themselves apart as market innovators that have the ability to seek out and expand to different areas around the globe as policies shift and demand changes. According to Navigant Research, the global installed capacity of SMWTs is expected to grow from 176.4 MW in 2017 to 446.0 MW in 2026.