Wind Power Conference: 60,000 MW Possible in Next Five Years

The first Global Wind power conference is underway in Paris and the news is good: the wind energy market could reach 60,000 MW worldwide over the next five years, more than doubling its present output.

PARIS, France 2002-04-05 [] “Wind energy today is a global phenomenon. It’s the fastest-growing power technology,” said conference chairman Rakesh Bakshi during his opening remarks. “The world has taken about 25 years to reach 25,000 MW, but over the next five years, we expect to reach 60,000 MW.” The event, held in the CNIT, La Defense, was hosted by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), and the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers’ Association (IWTMA) with 1,600 delegates and exhibitors expected to attend over the four day event, representing almost 50 countries. Christian Pierret, French Minister of Industry and Finance, said that 10,000 MW of new wind energy capacity would be needed in France by 2010 to meet European clean energy commitments. “To get there we have introduced an obligation on electricity suppliers and a fixed price for wind energy output. This will create a rapid and strong development,” Pierret said. India’s Minister for Non-Conventional Energy Sources, M. Kannappan, said that his government has plans for an additional 6,000 MW wind power by 2012. He said that wind would also help bring power to some of the 76 million households that currently have no access to electricity. Brian Wilson, U.K. Minister for Energy, said that Britain had yesterday taken its “biggest step ever toward the creation of a significant renewables sector the setting into effect of the Renewables Obligation.” This aims for 10 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2010. “This is going to mean a major expansion in the contribution of wind power,” he said. A part of that goal will be met by the 1,500 MW offshore capacity already approved. South Australian Member of Parliament Bob Such said his country is about to see a large number of projects start generating because of the national mandate for 2 percent of electricity to come from renewables. He expected a 1,100 MW target for wind energy to be easily exceeded. Celebrating his county’s leading position in the world wind energy market, German M.P. Hermann Scheer projected 25,000 MW to be installed in Germany alone by 2010, not including a long list of proposed offshore projects. “The German success is based on a mixture of political support and a guaranteed price,” he said. EWEA President Arthouros Zervos said that a projection by the association and Greenpeace showed that 10 percent of world’s electricity could come from the wind by 2020. This would ramp up to a world investment of US$78 billion in that year. “This is a feasible target. We have already seen much higher figures than even the industry itself had projected,” he said. “We have achieved a multi-million dollar market. It’s turned from a sleeper market into one attracting major energy corporations,” said Jamie Chapman of AWEA, commenting on the phenomenal 66 percent growth in U.S. capacity in 2001. “The U.S. Congress is set to soon debate a national goal of 10 percent renewables in the energy mix by 2020.”
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