The German Wind Energy Association (BWE) announced on 15 January that capacity rose by over 1,600 MG in 2000 to a total of 6,100 MG. “Never before has wind power had such a boost as last year,” BWE said. “Country-wide 1,496 new turbines with a capacity of 1,668 MW entered the grid, around 100 MW more than in the previous year. With a total capacity of 6,113 MW, Germany is the undisputed wind world champion. Next, at a distant second, is the US with about 2,500 MW of installed capacity.” Wind now accounts for 2.5%.

BWE President Peter Ahmels puts the success of Germany’s electricity generation down to the governmental Renewable Energy Law (EEG) that came into force in April 2000, setting minimum prices paid by grid operators for energy from renewable energy sources. He also added that with current trends in the wind sector, 20 million tonnes of CO2 emissions would be cut by 2005, 25% of Germany’s emissions target for 2005.

The fastest growing providers of 2000 were Enercon, representing 27% of newly-installed generation, while Enron Wind came second with 15%, but the largest producer was Niedersachsen with an output of 1,748 MW.

Europe has almost two-thirds of world wind capacity with an output of 10,000MW out of a total 15,900MW. Spain, at 2,100MW and Denmark with 2,000 MW were the world’s third and fourth biggest wind producers. In 2000, the European Wind Energy Association set an annual target of 60,000 MW in Europe by 2010, of which Germany was to account for 22,000 MW, (see related story).

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