Saturday, March 18, 2006

Global wind energy capacity seen tripling by 2014

Technology News Article | "Global wind energy capacity seen tripling by 2014
Tue Mar 7, 2006 3:09 PM GMT

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The global wind energy industry is expected to enjoy continued strong growth in coming years with total installed capacity seen more than tripling from current levels by 2014, an industry survey showed on Tuesday.

Over the next eight years, international installed capacity is expected to increase to about 210,000 megawatts from today's installed total of about 59,000 megawatts, a study by the German Wind Energy Institute (DEWI) showed.

The study, conducted on behalf of Hamburg Messe in the run-up to an industry fair in May, identified Germany, France, Spain and the United States as key future markets.

"The international wind energy market, which showed growth rates in 2005 of 16 percent in Europe, and as much as 73 percent outside of Europe, will continue to boom," the report said.

In the world's largest wind power market, Germany, the onshore market is expected to continue to grow, while the offshore market is seen subject to delays.

Total installed power by 2010 in Germany will be about 23,700 megawatts onshore and 1,300 megawatts offshore against current capacity of 18,428 megawatts, all on land, according to the survey.

One megawatt of wind power is enough to provide electricity for several hundred households.

Denmark's Vestas (VWS.CO: Quote, Profile, Research) is the market leader in the fast-growing industry for wind energy, and has been at the center of takeover speculation for several years.

Industrial conglomerate Siemens (SIEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) and GE Wind, a subsidiary of General Electric (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) have been expanding their presence in the sector. Other players include Spain's Gamesa (GAM.MC: Quote, Profile, Research) and Germany's Enercon.

Although still generally considered higher than the cost of fuel-generated electric power, the cost of wind power continues to drop as larger multi-megawatt turbines are developed and improved.