The status of wind energy in 2009 By GWEC

The expectations for 2009 were dire for all industry sectors, and wind power was no exception. Both the economic and even more so the financial crisis hit the sector hard, and even GWEC’s forecast of a 12.5% annual market growth seemed overly optimistic to many in March 2009.

In fact, the annual market grew a staggering 41.5% compared to 2008. More than 38 GW of new wind power capacity was installed around the world in 2009, bringing the total installed capacity up to 158.5 GW.

This represents a year-on-year growth of 31.7%. A third of these additions were made in China, which doubled its installed capacity yet again. Wind energy is now an important player in the world’s energy markets.

The 2009 market for wind turbines installations was worth about 45 bn € or 63 bn US$ and GWEC estimates that about half a million people are now employed by the wind industry around the world. The main markets driving this growth continue to be Asia, North America and Europe, each of which installed more than 10 GW of new capacity in 2009.

Asia’s development driven bybooming Chinese market

For the first time, Asia was the world’s largest regional market for wind energy, with capacity additions amounting to 15.4 GW.China was the world’s largest market in 2009, more than doubling its capacity from 12.1 GW in 2008 to 25.8 GW, adding a staggering 13.8 GW of capacity, and slipped past Germany to become the world’s second largest wind power market by a very narrow margin.

The growing wind power market in China has encouraged domestic production of wind turbines and components, and the Chinese manufacturing industry is becoming increasingly mature, stretching over the whole supply chain. According to the Chinese Renewable Energy Industry Association (CREIA), the supply is starting to not only satisfy domestic demand, but also meet international needs, especially for components.

Two Chinese companies, Sinovel and Goldwind, are now among the world’s top five wind turbined manufacturers, and there are first moves by Chinese manufacturers to enter the international markets.

The planning and development for the ‘Wind Base’ programme, which aims to build 127.5 GW of wind capacity in six Chinese provinces, is well underway, and construction has started on some projects. Given the current size of the market, it is expected that the even the unofficial target of 150 GW will be met well ahead of 2020.

India also continued growing its wind market with 1.3 GW of new installed capacity, bringing its total up to 10.9 GW. The leading wind power state remains Tamil Nadu with 4.3 GW installed, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka. With the introduction of a national Generation Based Incentive at the end of 2009, and a real push by the government to support renewable energy development, substantial growth is expected in the near future, and the industry forecasts additions of at least 2.2 GW for 2010.

Other Asian countries with new capacity additions in 2009 include Japan (178 MW, taking the total to 2.1 GW), South Korea (112 MW for a total of 348 MW) and Taiwan (78 MW for a total of 436 MW).

North America: US boom continues

Against all expectations, the US wind energy market installed nearly 10 GW in 2009, maintaining its global leadership in installed capacity, increasing the country’s installed capacity by 39% and bringing the total installed grid-connected capacity to 35 GW.

The new wind energy projects completed in 2009 accounted for about 40% of the new power generation capacity added in the US during the year, and wind power now covers 2% of the country’s total electricity demand.

In early 2009, some analysts had foreseen a drop in wind power development of as much as 50%, but the implementation of the US Recovery Act with its strong focus on wind energy development in the summer reversed this trend. 36 of the 50 US states now have utility-scale wind installations and 14 states have more than 1,000 MW installed.

Texas remains the leading state with more than 9 GW of total installed capacity, with Iowa in second place with 3,670 MW, followed by California, Washington state and Minnesota. In terms of new capacity added in 2009, Texas again led the pack with 2,300 MW, followed by Indiana, which got started in wind late in 2008, and installed more than 900 MW in 2009. Oregon, Iowa and Illinois round out the top five in new capacity added in 2009.

Canada also experienced a record year with 950 MW of new capacity additions, bringing its total up to 3.3 GW. For the first time, every province now has an operating wind farm, collectively generating enough electricity to power more than one million Canadian homes, or about 1.1% of Canada’s total electricity production.

Ontario leads Canada’s wind energy development with 1.2 GW of installed wind capacity. The province introduced its Green Energy Act in 2009, which introduced a feed-in tariff for wind power, and this is set to substantially boost wind power development in the province. Other leading wind energy provinces include Quebec (659 MW) and Alberta (590 MW).

Wind again fastest growing power technology in Europe

Europe, which has traditionally been the world’s largest market for wind energy development, continued to see strong growth, also exceeding expectations.

Once again, more wind power was installed than any other power technology, accounting for 39% of the total new generation capacity. Taken together, renewable energy technologies accounted for 61% of new power generating capacity in 2009.

10.5 GW were installed in Europe last year, including 582 MW offshore, taking the total wind power capacity up to 76.2 GW. While the traditional wind markets in Germany and Spain continue to drive investment, other ‘second wave’ countries are now firmly established, with new capacity additions of over 1,000 MW in 2009 in Italy, France and the UK.  11 out of the EU’s 25 member states now have more than 1 GW of wind power capacity.

Investment in new European wind farms in 2009 reached €13 billion, including €1.5 billion offshore. The wind capacity installed by the end of 2009 will in a normal year produce 163 TWh of electricity, meeting 4.8% of total EU power demand.

Germany continues to lead Europe, adding 1.9 GW in 2009 for a total capacity of 25,777 MW. 38 TWh of wind-generated electricity was generated in Germany in 2009, in a wind year that was below average, accounting for about 7% of the country’s total power consumption. The German wind power sector now employs around 100,000 people.

The leading federal state in Germany in terms of installed capacity is Lower Saxony with 6.4 GW. A number of states now receive 40% or more of their electricity from wind energy, including Saxony-Anhalt (47%), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (41%) and Schleswig-Holstein (40%).

Spain led the European league tables for new installed capacity, with additions of 2.5 GW of wind power, bringing its total up to 19.1 GW. Wind energy now represents Spain’s third largest power generation source with a production of 36.2 TWh in 2009, covering 14.5% of the country’s electricity demand, compared to 11.5% in 2008.

Wind power installations in Spain are concentrated in four regions, which account for 70% of the country’s total installed capacity. Castilla y Leon (3.9 GW) overtook Castilla-La Mancha (3.7 GW) as the region with the most wind power, followed by Galicia (3.2 GW).

However, the greatest growth was in Andalusia, which added 1.1 GW of wind capacity, bringing its total up to 2.8 GW, and putting it in fourth place. Italy, France and the UK all continued to show strong growth and added 1.1 GW each to their wind power capacity.

Italy now has a total installed capacity of 4.9 GW. The regions which added the most new capacity were Sicily, Puglia and Calabria, followed by Campania and Sardinia, but developments are also taking place in central and northern Italy, in regions such as Liguria, Piedmont, Veneto, Emilia Romagna and Tuscany. The Italian wind power sector now employs around 15,000 people.

France’s wind capacity is also growing steadily and has now reached 4.5 GW, up from only 30 MW in 2000. In 2009 again, wind power was France’s fastest growing power generation technology, accounting for 41% of all new capacity. In 2009, wind turbines generated 7.8 TWh of electricity, a 40% increase from 2008, but still only 1.6% of total power consumption.

In December 2009, the French government set itself a target for achieving 11.5 GW of installed wind energy capacity by 2012, 1.5 GW of which should be offshore, and 20 GW by 2020, including 6 GW offshore. The United Kingdom also experienced a record year, and is now host to over 4 GW of wind power.

The UK government launched its ‘Renewable Energy Strategy’ in July 2009, which includes a target of 15 % of final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020 (up from 2% in 2008). The UK government would like see onshore wind grow from around 3.4 GW today to at least 13-14 GW by 2020, and suitable sites for up to 50 GW of offshore wind power development have been identified for this timeframe.

Top 10 wind turbine manufacturers by megawatts installed worldwide in 2009

1. Vestas (Denmark) 35,000 MW
2. Enercon (Germany) 19,000 MW
3. Gamesa (Spain) 16,000 MW
4. GE Energy (United States) 15,000 MW
5. Siemens (Germany) 8,800 MW
6. Suzlon (India) 6,000 MW
7. Nordex (Germany) 5,400 MW
8. Acciona (Spain) 4,300 MW
9. REpower (Germany) 3,000 MW
10. Goldwind (China) 2,889 MW

Global installed wind power capacity end 2009

Africa & Middle East
Egypt 430 MW
Morocco 253 MW
Iran 91 MW
Tunisia 54 MW
Cap Verde 12 MW
South Africa 8 MW
Israel 8 MW
Kenya 5 MW
Other (Lebanon, Nigeria, Jordan) 4 MW
Total Africa & Middle East 865 MW

Asia PR
China 25,805 MW
India 10,926 MW
Japan 2,056 MW
Taiwan 436 MW
South Korea 348 MW
Philippines 33 MW
Other (Thailand, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka) 6 MW
Total Asia 39,610 MW

Germany 25,777 MW
Spain 19,149 MW
Italy 4,850 MW
France 4,492 MW
UK 4,051 MW
Portugal 3,535 MW
Denmark 3,465 MW
Netherlands 2,229 MW
Sweden 1,560 MW
Ireland 1,260 MW
Greece 1,087 MW
Austria 995 MW
Turkey 801 MW
Poland 725 MW
Belgium 563 MW
Rest of Europe (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine) 1,614 MW
Total Europe 76,152 MW
of which EU-27 74,767 MW

Latin America & Caribbean
Brazil 606 MW
Mexico 202 MW
Chile 168 MW
Costa Rica 123 MW
Nicaragua 40 MW
Caribbean 35 MW
Argentina 31 MW
Uruguay 20 MW
Jamaica 23 MW
Colombia 20 MW
Others (Cuba,Peru) 6 MW
Total Latin America 1,274 MW

North America
USA 35,064 MW
Canada 3,319
Total North America 38,383 MW

Pacific Region
Australia 1,712 MW
New Zealand 497
Pacific Islands 12
Total Pacific Region 2,221 MW

World total 158,505 MW end 2009