It may be the dawn of the Solar Century, but this is the decade of large wind turbines. Large wind turbines are the first industrialized Renewable Energy technology to be price competitive with coal and natural gas fueled turbines for utility-scale power generation.Norwalk, Connecticut – January 23, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The kicker is that the resource, wind, has no price volatility. Perhaps the most important feature in a new era of economic uncertainty is a quick turnaround for investors. Large wind projects begin delivering returns within a year of financing. Increasingly favorable regulatory regimes, government support, a low cost per installed capacity, environmental pressures, and rapidly evolving technology have pushed wind to the forefront of the renewable energy industry. According to a new business opportunity report from Business Communications Company, Inc. E-124A Renewable Bulk Power Sources: World Markets for Large Wind Turbines, US$5.5 billion was invested in new large wind turbines worldwide in 2001. That amount held steady through 2002 as the large wind industry continued apace everywhere but the U.S. A frantic pace of development will resume in 2003 in the U.S. as backlogged and new projects are brought to completion ahead of the expiration date of the federal Production Tax Credit. Large markets are just opening in France, the U.K. and Australia, while high growth markets in the European Union continue to expand and are spreading to Eastern Europe and North Africa. The global large wind turbine market is expected to grow at an average annual growth rate of 24.3 percent to cross US$16 billion by 2007. Megawatt-class turbines and larger are now produced in Denmark, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain and the U.S. New factories are being constructed in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, New Zealand, Scotland and the U.S. Continued strong expansion of the large wind turbine industry is driven by fixed price feed-in tariffs, renewable portfolio standards, green power markets, pollution offsets, Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation projects, Renewable Obligations, clean energy funds, executive orders at the federal and state levels, tradeable Rnewable Energy credits, competition in restructured electricity markets and cost. The installed world capacity of large wind turbines will be over 110 GW in 2007. Even at that seemingly lofty level and US$100 billion of investments, large wind will account for less than 3 percent of the world bulk generating capacity. What may be most significant is that new large wind capacity will account for almost 24 percent of all new bulk power installed worldwide in 2007. Investments in onshore projects range from under US$1 million to well over US$200 million. New projects have been proposed and some are under way that will approach the US$300 million level. Permit applications have been filed for offshore wind farms that will breach the 1 GW mark and require investments of over US$1.5 billion to implement. The offshore projects are expected to produce power at prices below those of fossil-fueled power plants. Offshore projects are in development in Canada, Europe and the U.S. and are being considered in Australia, China and Japan. The size of the largest offshore projects has entered the realm previously occupied solely by central station power plants. Several gigawatt-scale wind projects are expected to come on line in the next five years.