Asian Markets Attract Wind Power Companies

At a time when the U.S. wind power industry is in the doldrums and the once-promising German market is reaching a possible crest, wind power companies like Germany’s Nordex are looking to the Asian markets for a new area of business growth — with China and India showing particular promise.

Hamburg, Germany – July 28, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] One of Nordex’s executives, Eberhard von Perfall, head of the company’s Supervisory Board recently toured Asia as a member of a German trade delegation including Germany’s Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. In addition to upholding political contracts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs planned to support partnerships in the field of energy and the environment. Nordex is particularly interested in the countries of China and India where the company has been active some time and is keen on major expansions. “In view of the regressing business climate for wind energy in Germany we have to further increase our exports, which currently account for 60 percent of overall business,” von Perfall said. “The focus here is on Western Europe and Asia. We also have a good starting base for this in China in the form of our joint venture with the Chinese company Xi`an Aero Engine since 1998. As our next step we are planning to intensify our local added value for larger machines.” At the beginning of July, Nordex opened its first wind farm in China, which consists almost entirely of MW-class turbines. A further recipe for success has proved to be the good working relationship with European banks, such as the KfW Group, which has financed around one third of past wind farms in China. Nordex said experts predict that in the future Chinese investors will increasingly finance their wind farms from funds from the United Nations “Clean Development Mechanism”. “We are the first manufacturers with experience with such projects and are in a position to assist our customers in emission trading,” Von Perfall said. Nordex is also looking to give new impetus to business with Asia in the form of partnerships in India. Up to the end of the 90s, the Indian BHEL Group produced Nordex machines under licence. Today some 260 turbines “designed by Nordex” are in operation across the country. “At that time the boom was brought to a halt by long and complex approval processes, financing bottlenecks and low electricity tariffs,” von Perfall said. “Thanks to the advent of deregulation resulting from the electricity law, demand has been picking up again since mid-2003.” Last year alone, some 400 megawatts of new capacity were added to the grid – more than in any other Asian country. India has potential, but Nordex believes China shows the most promise. Despite already being the second-largest electricity producer in the world today, China’s demand is expected to increase at a staggering rate. Consumption is expected to increase again by more than five percent annually up to 2020. With this in mind the government is planning to draw on coal as a domestic source of energy, and increasingly on wind power as a means to offset the pollution incumbent with China’s increased reliance on coal. Nordex expects wind power’s installed capacity to increase approximately fivefold in the coming six years. No doubt Nordex won’t be the only company looking to provide for some of China’s increasing demands for wind power. Business goes where the demand flows so other wind power companies are likely to follow suit.

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