Project Development, Wind Power

Global Wind Power Base to More Than Triple by 2015

According to recently-released global wind energy country forecasts from Emerging Energy Research (EER), global wind power capacity is predicted to more than triple by 2015, with cumulative installed base expected to rise from approximately 91 gigawatts (GW) by the end of 2007 to over 290 GW by the end of 2015.

“The global wind power market continues to diversify geographically from Europe to North America and Asia Pacific, with short-term supply bottlenecks giving way to longer term sustained growth,” according to Senior Analyst Joshua Magee.

Significant new supply chain capacity is coming online, while Texas and California are preparing for additional massive wind build-out as transmission expansion projects move through permitting.  Canada is also set for an RFP-driven boom in the coming years mainly in Ontario and Quebec, according to EER. And China is also expected to surpass its goal of 5 GW before 2009.

Europe will remain the world’s largest regional market in terms of annual growth, according to EER, transitioning from established markets such as Spain and Germany to new, growing regions, the UK, France, Portugal, and Italy. Significant wind expansion is expected to occur in Eastern European markets as well, with larger markets in Poland and Turkey poised to average over 500 Megawatts of production capacity installed annually.

With demand for wind power growing around the world, most major wind turbine suppliers are increasing production capacity. New fabrication and assembly facilities are currently planned in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and South America.

“Long-term global energy demand drivers continue to favor wind build-out,” according to Magee.  “Steady global electricity demand increases show no sign of easing, and global emissions reduction initiatives are likely to become more prevalent beyond the current 2012 Kyoto period and will diversify into the US and Asia.  Fossil fuel price volatility is likely to continue to stimulate long-term demand, with wind serving as a quickly deployable hedge against natural gas and petroleum power generation.”