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Distributed wind energy has the potential to reach 30 GW by 2030

By Barbara Vergetis Lundin

March 26, 2015

The distributed wind sector has the potential to reach 30 GW of behind-the-meter wind generation by 2030, according to new research from the Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA).

A new DWEA white paper showcases what it calls “a true American small business success story,” with more than 90 percent of the small and medium systems installed in the United States in 2014 made in America.

As part of DWEA’s vision to achieve 30 GW of distributed wind by 2030, the association is advocating for the removal of the 100 kW cap on the small wind Investment Tax Credit (ITC), as well as a long-term extension of the ITC. Further, they are calling for a 40 percent ITC for residential wind system up to 20 kW as part of the extension. ?

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) budget, they say, should be increased overall with distributed wind research and development accounting for at least 15 percent of the wind budget as part of a new focused DOE initiative on distributed wind.

DWEA also supports encouraging states and utilities to provide incentives for distributed wind on par with the solar incentives they have successfully employed to grow their solar markets.

“The U.S. distributed wind energy supply chain is made up of hundreds of manufacturing facilities and vendors spread across the country — supporting jobs in manufacturing, retail, construction and maintenance,” said Jennifer Jenkins, executive director of the Distributed Wind Energy Association. “This is a critical time for our industry, but with the right policies in place at the state and federal levels, we have to potential to be the next clean tech boom.”

Policies that grow the distributed wind market and advance technology will provide important benefits to the country, including creating 150,000 jobs, economic development serving primarily rural areas, additional clean energy choices, strengthening the grid, and promoting resilience, among other things.