Wind Power

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 90 companies in the US use wind power to drive a turbine and produce electric energy, which is provided to electric power transmission systems or electric power distribution systems. Utility-scale turbines are generally defined as turbines that exceed 100KW in capacity, but typically range from 1.5 to 7.5MW. Wind energy accounts for about 8.4% of total US electricity generation and about 55.6% of electricity generation from renewable energy, according to the EIA.

“NIMBY” Opposition

Wind farms often face opposition from local residents concerned about noise, aesthetic impacts, and harm to bird populations.

Dependence on Government Support

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law in 2022 and it extends tax credits for renewable energy projects for 10 years, which the IRA’s supporters say will bring certainty to project planning instead of Congress needing to renew the credits every few years.

Industry size & Structure

The average wind electric power generator employs about 75 workers and generates about $88 million annually.

    • The wind electric power generator industry consists of about 90 firms that employ about 6,900 workers and generate almost $8 billion annually.
    • The industry is highly concentrated; the top eight companies account for 84% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms include Clearway Energy, Energy Capital Partners, and Caithness Energy.
    • Large owners of wind capacity include NextEra Energy, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Avangrid, and EDP.
    • Wind energy accounts for about 10.2% of total US electricity generation and about 47.6% of electricity generation from renewable energy, according to the EIA.
    • More than 70,800 land-based wind turbines operate across 44 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico and represent more than 435 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity generation capacity.
    • Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, and Illinois produced about 57% of total U.S. wind electricity generation in 2022.
    • Alta Wind Energy Center in California is the world’s second-largest wind farm generating 1,548 MW of electricity. Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island was the US’ first offshore wind farm.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Wind Power Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              May 8, 2024 - Wind Industry Poised for Rebound
                              • The US wind power industry is poised for steadier growth after mounting costs and high interest rates slowed project development in 2024. The industry’s year-over-year sales are expected to rise by 1.4% in 2024 after increasing 11% in 2023, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc. Annual sales growth is expected to increase by 10.2% in 2025, 15.3% in 2026, 16.6% in 2027, and 17.3% in 2028, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc.
                              • In 2023, US electricity generation from wind turbines declined for the first time since the mid-1990s, according to an April 2024 report by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Wind turbine electricity generation in 2023 totaled 425,235 gigawatt hours (GWh), down 2.1% compared to 2022 levels. The EIA suggests the 2023 drop in wind generation was a signal that wind is a maturing energy source even as new capacity came online last year. Weaker wind generation was also due to slower wind speeds, especially in the first half of 2023, when wind power generation was 14% lower than in the first half of 2022.
                              • North American solar power purchase agreement (PPA) costs increased in the first quarter of 2024, according to renewable energy data and deal brokering firm LevelTen Energy. A PPA is an agreement between a third-party energy developer, typically renewable energy, and a customer where the buyer is charged no up-front costs and agrees to buy power at a stable price. In Q1 2024, the average cost for wind power PPAs increased 20.3% compared to the same period a year earlier. Permitting headwinds, land scarcity, inflation, and higher financing costs have limited the number of financially viable projects and sparked bidding wars for projects that pencil out, driving up wind PPA costs.
                              • After the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in 2022, several research groups created projection models for anticipated gains in renewable energy and electric vehicle (EV) deployments, according to Utility Dive. Researchers have found that while 2023 solar installations, EV purchases, and battery storage kept pace with or surpassed projections, wind development fell behind, according to Anand Gopal, executive director of policy research at Energy Innovation. Wind generation capacity additions fell to 6.3 gigawatts (GW) in 2023 compared to 14.5 GW deployed between 2020 and 2021. A lack of transmission availability near ideal wind farm locations and higher costs have hindered wind development.
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