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
“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 signals."
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
“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
“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
"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
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.
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