Wind energy capacity is expected to deliver lumpy growth, but will roughly triple from 2010 to 2017, according to Pike Research.
According to Pike, wind farm projects have an 18-month project cycle and that means some lumpy growth rates. In 2008 and 2009, wind power had strong growth rates of 29 percent and 32 percent, respectively. But 2010 wind power capacity fell 22 percent due to the resession.
Overall growth rates for wind installations will fall short of the 2008 and 2009 booms, but remain healthy. Pike is projecting that overall capacity will grow from 194.3 gigawatts in 2010 to 562.9 gigawatts by 2017. In 2017, wind power installations will be a $153 billion industry worldwide, up from $56 billion in 2010.
Pike Research estimates that China will lead in wind energy deployment and that's a mixed bag for European and American companies. On one hand, China is a growth market for wind energy, but U.S. and Europe companies will have challenges dropping costs. Overall, wind energy is reaching grid parity.