European wind energy achieves 40 per cent growth rate

Nov 13, 2002 — For the first nine months of 2002, Europe’s installed wind energy capacity reached 20 447 MW, 74 per cent of the world total, according to a new industry survey published by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

“This is a 40 per cent increase of European wind energy capacity over the last 12 months, adding further proof that the European wind industry is a high-growth global clean technology leader”, said EWEA Chief Executive Corin Millais.

“This European success story for wind energy is just the beginning; within eight years, the total amount of wind energy installed globally can be more than ten times that achieved in Europe today, if the appropriate policies are put in place. The cumulative global industry sector can be worth over €130bn by 2010 ” Millais said.

Germany is leading the European expansion, commissioning 1,896 MW of wind energy in the first nine months of 2002, with Spain in second place with 742 MW. Countries which have made good progress after a relatively quiet spell include the Netherlands. France moved into tenth place in the league table with 131 MW. Austria celebrated its 100 MW landmark on the back of one of the highest situated wind farms in the world – at 1,900 metres in the Styrian Alps.

“With 50 per cent of European wind capacity, the wind power boom in Germany is set to continue,” said Millais. “The German Government announced at the latest climate talks in India last month that it wants a 40 per cent cut in greenhouse gases by 2020 in Germany, and a 30 per cent cut throughout Europe by 2020. Wind energy has proven itself to be one of the most powerful technology solutions for tackling climate change”.

A total of 84 per cent of European wind energy capacity is installed in Germany, Spain and Denmark. Wind energy now accounts for 4 per cent of national electricity consumption in Germany, and 18 per cent in Denmark. About 80 per cent of all wind turbines sold worldwide are manufactured by European companies.

At the Earth Summit in September and the UN climate negotiations in India last month, EWEA launched its industry strategy-Wind Force 12 – a blueprint to achieve 12 per cent of the world’s electricity from wind power by 2020.

The feasibility study demonstrates that there are no technical, economic or resource limitations to achieve this goal, but that political and policy changes are required in order for the industry to reach its full potential.

By 2020 the industry is capable of installing 1,260,000 MW of wind energy throughout the world. Wind Force 12 outlines that by 2010 the industry is capable of installing 230,000MW of wind energy worldwide, 100,000 MW in Europe. By 2010 the global wind industry could be worth a cumulative €133bn.

For more information, visit EWEA’s web site at : WWW.EWEA.ORG .

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