The market for wind energy in Germany increased by 59 percent last year, according to the country’s wind energy association.OSNABRUECK, Germany (DE) 2002-01-29 [SolarAccess.com] Germany is the world’s largest market, and the trend for installing turbines is forecast to continue in coming years, according to Bundesverband WindEnergie. The total installed capacity of turbines last year was 2,659 MW, compared with 1,668 MW in 2000. Accumulated capacity in Germany now totals 8,750 MW, and generates 3.5 percent of the country’s electricity. There are 11,500 turbines in Germany, 44 percent more than at the end of 2000. Spain is the second-largest market for wind, followed by the United States, which installed 1,694 MW of turbines last year, up from 732 MW in 2000, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Germany’s 2,659 MW was almost half of global installations of 5,000 MW last year, says BWE president Peter Ahmels, who credits the country’s minimum price systems for the growth. It is realistic for another 5,000 MW of onshore wind to be installed by the end of 2004, he predicts. Enercon, the private turbine manufacturer, had 28.5 percent of the domestic market last year, up from 27.4 percent in 2000. The world’s leading turbine company, Vestas Wind Systems of Denmark, increased its market share to 19.5 percent from 13.2 percent. Nordex increased to 10.4 from 8.8 percent, while Enron Wind dropped to 10.9 percent from 14.9 percent in 2000. NEG Micon of Denmark increased slightly to 11.4 percent. Other companies included AN Windenergie, REpower Systems, DeWind, Fuhrlander, Frisia and Sonstige. “These numbers show how important wind is in a clean energy future,” says Hubert Weinzierl of a German nature group. “For wind-powered devices, there may be no free ticket; we need environmental protection and compatible locations for the forthcoming boom in offshore wind installations” in Germany’s northern regions and along the Baltic Sea. Germany’s wind industry employs 35,000 people, up one-fifth in the last year, and the industry generated revenue of Euro 3.5 billion last year, says BWE. Modern turbines are rated at 1.5 MW, and offshore units will be 3 to 5 MW, which can generate enough electricity for 5,000 homes. There are nine offshore windfarm projects with total output of 95 MW, of which three are in Denmark, three in Sweden, two in the Netherlands and one in England. Last November, the German department for ocean affairs approved the first offshore project in Germany, 45 km from the island Borkum, which will have 12 turbines by 2003. Another 29 requests for the North Sea and Baltic Sea are pending.