BRUSSELS, Belgium, March 10, 2005 (ENS): The wind turbines
of the world are spinning in sync. The Global Wind Energy
Council, launched Wednesday, is the new global forum
for the wind energy sector, uniting the wind industry
and its representative associations. Members operate
in more than 50 countries and represent over 1,500 organizations
involved in hardware manufacture, project development,
power generation, finance and consultancy, as well as
researchers and academics.
Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) members represent
all the world’s major wind turbine manufacturers
and 99 percent of the world’s 47,317 megawatts
(MW) of installed wind power capacity.
The global wind power industry increased its total
installed generating capacity by 20 percent in 2004
installing 7,976 MW, according to figures released today
by the Global Wind Energy Council.
The countries with the highest total installed wind
power capacity are Germany (16,629 MW), Spain (8,263
MW), the United States (6,740 MW), Denmark (3,117 MW)
and India (3,000 MW).
The top five countries account for over 67 percent
of 2004 installation and nearly 80 percent of total
wind energy installation worldwide. A number of countries,
including Italy, the Netherlands, Japan, and the UK,
are above or near the 1,000-MW mark.
Europe continued to dominate the global market in 2004,
accounting for 72.4 percent of new installations (5,774
MW). Asia had a 15.9 percent installation share (1,269
MW), followed by North America (6.4 percent; 512 MW)
and the Pacific Region (4.1 percent; 325 MW).
“Europe is the global leader in wind energy,
but we are witnessing the globalization of the wind
energy markets. In Europe, the market has experienced
average annual growth rates of 22 percent over the past
six years; however, the further rapid progress that
the industry is capable of delivering is constrained
by barriers such as grid access and administrative hurdles,”
said EWEA President Arthouros Zervos.
“Renewed political initiatives by the G8 could
boost wind power; the industry is well positioned and
ready for a more rapid roll out given the right political
Growth in the U.S. market was predictably slow because
of the long delay in extending the federal production
tax credit (PTC) for wind energy, which had expired
in December 2003 and was extended in October 2004. Proposed
projects are now back on the fast track and the American
Wind Energy Association (AWEA) expects that over 2,000
MWwill be installed nationwide during 2005.
Uncertainty continues to loom over the U.S. market,
however, since the PTC will expire again in December
2005 unless Congress moves quickly to extend the incentive.
The U.S. wind energy industry is calling for a long-term
extension so that companies can plan for steadier, stronger
growth over the coming years.
"Wind energy technology has bolted out of the
starting gate in the U.S. and is delivering clean, safe,
inexhaustible power to customers nationwide, but its
deployment remains hobbled by the intermittency and
uncertainty of the federal incentive for wind and other
renewable energy sources," said AWEA Executive
Director Randall Swisher. "For wind energy to contribute
a substantially larger share to the nation’s electricity,
companies need a stable planning horizon, comparable
at least to that available for conventional technologies."
“Wind energy capacity in Australia almost doubled
in the last 12 months with 380 MW of wind energy capacity
installed at the close of 2004. Wind energy is one of
the fastest growing clean energy sources because it
is proven, quick to build and economically viable."
said Ian Lloyd-Besson, president of AusWEA, the Australian
Wind Energy Association.
“Besides being clean and green, wind energy brings
investment, drought-proof farming income and jobs to
rural communities. Australia has some of the most powerful
and abundant untapped wind resource on the planet and
a grid capacity that can potentially accommodate up
to 8,000 MW of wind energy with minor adjustments,"
said Lloyd-Besson. "Even if we were to develop
just half of this, the regional employment benefits
and export opportunities would be enormous.”
"2004 was a record year for the Canadian wind
energy industry with 122 MW of new installed capacity.
It is certain that this record will be shattered in
2005 and recent developments in federal and provincial
energy policy promise a 10-fold increase in Canada's
total installed wind energy capacity over the next five
years," said CanWEA President Robert Hornung.
“China’s anticipated entry into the global
renewable energy market is expected to have a profound
impact on the global industry. We have spent a lot of
time and energy learning from the successes and failures
of our partners in Europe and around the world."
said Li Junfeng, secretary general, CREIA, Chinese Renewable
Energy Industries Association.
”India has witnessed unprecedented growth in the
wind energy sector. During the last fiscal year, 2003-2004,
wind energy capacity in India grew by more than 35 percent.
Wind power is today recognized in the Asian hemisphere
and more particularly in India as being a cost effective,
economic, mature and well proven form of clean, environmentally
friendly and green energy production – a source
of energy much needed in India," said Sarvesh Kumar,
chairman of the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association.
“Japan plans to attain the wind power target
of 3,000 megawatts by the year 2010 after the Kyoto
Protocol. We have installed about 936 MW to date which
is 20 times in comparison to five years ago and one
third of the national target." said Hikaru Matsumiya,
representative of the Japanese Wind Energy and Japanese
Wind Power Associations.
GWEC, the global forum for the wind energy sector,
includes representative associations from the EU-25
Member States, Russia, Africa, Asia, South America,
New Zealand and many other countries.
The organization is calling for stronger national and
international policies to support the expansion of wind
energy as part of the range of policy options required
to tackle climate change.
According to the GWEC report Wind Force 12, boosting
investment in wind energy to a level where it would
provide 12 percent of world electricity generation by
2020 would result in annual reductions of 1,813 million
tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in 2020 from
1,245,000 MW of wind energy installed.
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2004. All