Market Scenarios for Wind Power Unveiled

At the opening of the Global WindPower Conference 2004 in Chicago, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) presented two market scenarios assessing the potential for global wind energy development in 2007 and 2012.

Chicago/ Brussels, – March 30, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Both scenarios stretch forward over the next decade and examine the future shape of the international market if it is to successfully expand beyond its present concentration in key European countries such as Germany, Denmark, Spain and the US in close contention. “The future prospects of the global wind industry are very promising: even on a conventional scenario the total wind power installed worldwide could quadruple from 40GW to 160GW by 2012. The next ten years will also see a broadening of the global wind energy market to engage a spread of new countries across continents,” said Professor Arthouros Zervos, President of EWEA, at a press conference at the McCormick Conference center in Chicago. Significant growth in the United States will be accompanied by new markets starting to develop in Australia, Japan and South America. Other countries considering serious investment include Canada, Brazil, Tunisia, China, Egypt, Morocco, the Philippines, Turkey and Vietnam. The first EWEA scenario is described as Conventional because it is based on a favorable interpretation of a “business as usual” scenario. The second, described as Advanced, is adapted from the Wind Force 12 report (1) and predicts a greatly increased level of market activity resulting from stronger political support (2). “The European wind sector remains the engine of growth for global wind markets, and together with North America will provide the bulk of the future multibillion dollar market over the coming decade, whatever the scenario”, said Zervos. Scenarios are important tools for long term planning and policy settings. Future market assessments are essentially scenarios shaped by the assumptions and data used, by historical developments and their extrapolation and by individual perspectives, interacting with a wide range of external factors. Specific factors that will define future wind market prospects include: ý future demand for electricity generating capacity ý future power plant decommissioning ý government political priorities and policies on energy, electricity, the environment and climate change ý the level of acknowledgement of the environmental benefits of renewable energy production, as well as the extent to which external costs to society of conventional fuels are internalised in energy prices ý prospects for new markets beyond the big three of Germany, Denmark and Spain ý the economics of wind power and its competitiveness with other generating technologies, including future oil and gas prices ý improvements in technology ý the success rate of the large amount of capacity currently awaiting construction
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