Wind power to rise five fold

Global Wind Power may rise five-fold by 2010, with Germany a world leader, according to a new study by DEWI, the German Wind Energy Institute.

Researchers from DEWI have predicted wind energy capacity will rise from the current 25,000 megawatts (MW) to 120,000 MW by 2010.

Germany has been taking the lead in wind technology. Last year it added 2,659 MW of new turbines, bringing the total wind power generation to 8,750 MW, equivalent to 3.5% of Germany’s total power consumption.

The DEWI study reveals that in the years leading to 2002, Germany’s annual rate of building new wind capacity plants was the same as for the rest of Europe combined. It suggests there are “very good and, most importantly, long-term development opportunities” in the growing world market for wind energy companies. The study also recommends that wind technology firms in Germany should branch out into other European countries, with planned expansions in Spain, Italy, France, Poland and Turkey.

As part of the fight to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Germany now encourages investment in the new energy sector by guaranteeing producers higher revenue from their power. However, the study predicts that construction rates of German wind power plants will begin to slow down in the coming years, due to the lack of onshore sites available, and because offshore sites have yet to be built.

It is suggested that this will allow other European countries the chance to catch up with Germany. By 2007, it is suggested that European growth rates of wind power will be overtaken by those elsewhere in the world.

DEWI has been heavily involved with international research work, joining the European Renewable Energy Centres Agency (EUREC) in 1991. Research is undertaken into many aspects of wind power generation, ranging from training documents, to the ‘sophisticated measurement and interpretation of loads on the rotating rotor blade’.

If Germany is successful in developing offshore wind parks, DEWI suggests that by 2030, wind could provide 47,000 MW of capacity, equivalent to 28% of the country’s annual power requirements.

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