The international wind energy industry looks forward to significant growth in the next few years – by 2012 a total of 150,000 megawatts (MW) of installed power are expected worldwide. The predicted growth of 110 000 MW by 2012 would be equivalent to some 130 billion euros. The current total is about 40,000 MW of installed wind power. That is one of the findings of the WindEnergy Study 2004, presented by Hamburg Messe in Hamburg.Hamburg, and Brussels – April 1, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The German Wind Energy Institute (DEWI) conducted a survey of turbine manufacturers and project developers on behalf of Hamburg Messe and asked them to give their market estimates, thus updating the first WindEnergy study of 2002. The five most important future markets indicated by respondents for the industry are France, UK, Austria, Italy and the USA. Compared with 2002 there is a major change here – there were high hopes for Poland and Turkey (WindEnergy Study 2002) but they have not lived up to expectations. On the other hand, countries like Austria and the UK are increasingly going for wind energy, and France is developing more interest in wind. Corin Millais, CEO of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), said that, “the future of the wind industry lies in creating markets beyond the traditional big three, and this survey shows just how large that market could be – it has taken 25 years to built 40 000 MW, and will take less than ten to add another 110 000 MW. This is further confirmation that Europe remains the engine of growth of the global wind power market in the coming decade”. The decline in the German wind energy market forecast two years ago did in fact occur in 2003, when a total of 2645 MW were installed, but the drop was smaller than had been feared. Germany remains the world’s largest wind energy market. According to the WindEnergy study 2004, the manufacturers and developers are more optimistic today than they were in 2002 – by 2012 they are expecting installed power of 22 600 MW onshore and 6700 MW in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. 30% of German electricity demand could then be covered by wind energy by 2030. The offshore market will not take off until 2006, according to the findings of the study. Two years ago, the industry was somewhat more optimistic about this, and was expecting the first offshore projects in Germany to be realised as early as 2004. Though the beginning of offshore application is delayed, development is then expected to be somewhat faster, so that in 2012 there could be nearly 30% more offshore output (6800 MW) than indicated in the findings of the study two years ago. In particular, offshore wind farms are to be promoted in Germany by the amendment of the Renewables Act (EEG). That seems to be working with the draft legislation tabled by Federal Environment Minister Jýrgen Trittin – some 30% of respondents expect powerful stimuli for the German offshore market in the next five years. In European comparison, the respondents expect Germany to be in second place when it comes to rapid realisation of offshore wind farms over the next five years. The UK is expected to be number 1 market for offshore wind farms, Denmark will be number three. Thorsten Herdan, Managing Director of VDMA Power Systems, states that the German market is now more solid: “In the past year, the wind industry has stabilised at the high level of 2001,” Herdan said. “The order books of the manufacturers are looking good, and service and maintenance business is growing steadily. German manufacturers also have good export chances thanks to their excellent know-how. We are confident that there will be a significant increase in exports.” For market development, the internationally-operating wind companies are also going for joint ventures with companies in the target market – two thirds of manufacturers and project developers feel that this is the most promising approach. About 17% of manufacturers and 27% of project developers prepare new markets by setting up an affiliate in the relevant country. The biggest obstacle to commitment in new markets is considered by all respondents to be lack of certainty in the energy policy of the target country. And specific national financing models are also causing doubts about the development of new international target markets. Instability in the political situation is regarded by manufacturers as an equally great risk, but it seems that project developers are more prepared to take this kind of risk. The WindEnergy – International Trade Fair will be held in Hamburg from 11 to 14 May 2004. More than 250 international exhibitors are expected there. Opening times are from 9am to 6pm, with extended opening up to 8pm on the Thursday. The international trade fair offers manufacturers and suppliers, planners, finance institutes, measurement and certification bodies and experts from research and development an international platform for further expansion of this future market. The official partners of WindEnergy are EWEA, AWEA and InWEA, and at national level the VDMA (German Engineering Federation) and DEWI.