In a slow wind power market growth recorded in 2013, GE has captured 90 percent of the U.S market share; reports wind technology market survey conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).
Overall, the wind turbine costs and the price for wind energy are dropping down. Turbine orders have rebounded with more wind installations expected in 2014 and 2015, says the report.
Recently announced turbine transactions have been priced in the $900–$1,300/kW range.
New innovative turbines, with taller towers and longer blades, have opened up billions worth wind energy opportunity in the South and it has begun to make inroads in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee.
The wind power capacity installed in Iowa and South Dakota supplied 27 percent and 26 percent respectively in 2013, with Kansas close behind at more than 19 percent. In six other states, the wind supplied was between 12percent and 17 percent of total in-state generation in 2013.
Additionally, the wind energy sector employed 50,500 workers in the United States in 2013, with a reduction from the 80,700 jobs reported for 2012.
The average nameplate capacity of newly installed wind turbines in the United States in 2013 was 1.87 MW, up 162 percent since 1998–1999.
The average hub height in 2013 was 80 meters, up 45 percent since 1998-1999, while the average rotor diameter was 97 meters, up 103 percent since 1998–1999.
The combined domestic value and untracked imports of wind equipment increased from about 20 percent in 2006-2007 to about 70 percent in 2012–2013.
Over the time, there has been a decline in the average specific power among the U.S. turbine fleet from 400 W/m2 among projects installed in 1998–1999 to 255 W/m2 in 2013 with growth in average swept area outpacing growth in average nameplate capacity.
The Interior region of US saw much of the wind project development with an average leveled PPA price of $22/MWh in 2013.
In 2009, the top PPAs executed were $70/MWh and in 2013 the national average leveled price of wind PPAs were $25/MWh, a new low, but focused on a sample of projects that hail from the lowest-priced Interior region.
The projects anticipating completion in 2014 suggest that capacity-weighted average installed costs are closer to $1750/kW, lower than 2012 levels.
The capacity-weighted average installed project cost within $1,630/kW is down more than $300/kW from the reported average cost in 2012.
Capacity-weighted average 2000–2013 O&M costs for the 24 projects in the sample constructed in the 1980s equals to $34/MWh, dropping to $9/MWh for the 20 projects installed since 2010.
Capacity-weighted average 2000–2013 O&M costs were $66/kW-year for projects in the sample constructed in the 1980s, dropping to $23/kW-year for projects constructed since 2010.
Recent studies show that wind energy integration costs are always below $12/MW for wind power capacity penetrations of up to 40 percent of the peak load of the system in which the wind power is delivered.
Overall, wind turbine innovation increasingly makes wind energy development across the country a winning proposition.