Global wind energy installations increased by 35.8 GW in 2010. Wind farm capacity up to 194.4 GW, a 22.5% increase on the 158.7 GW wind turbines installed at the end of 2009. This brings total installed wind energy capacity up to 194.4 GW, a 22.5% increase on the 158.7 GW wind farm installed at the end of 2009. The new capacity added in 2010 represents investments worth EUR 47.3 billion (US Dollars 65 bn).
For the first time in 2010, more than half of all new wind power was added outside of the traditional markets in Europe and North America. This was mainly driven by the continuing boom in China, which accounted for nearly half the new wind installations (16.5 GW).
“China now has 42.3 GW of wind power, and has surpassed the US in terms of total installed capacity,” said Li Junfeng, Secretary General of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industry Association (CREIA). “This puts China firmly on a path to reach 200 GW of installed wind power by 2020. At the same time, China has become the world’s largest producer of wind energy equipment.”
But other developing countries also expanded their wind capacity, including India, which added 2.1 GW in 2010, Brazil (326 MW), Mexico (316 MW), and 213 MW were installed in North Africa (Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia).
“Wind power is now rapidly expanding beyond the traditional ‘rich country’ markets, a clear sign of its growing competitiveness,” said Steve Sawyer, GWEC’s Secretary General. “This is a trend we are expecting to see developing further in the future, not only in Asia. We are also seeing encouraging signs in Latin America, especially Brazil and Mexico, and in both Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa.”
Overall, however, the annual 2010 wind market was down for the first time in 20 years, shrinking by 7% from 38.6 GW in 2009, mainly due to a disappointing year in the US, as well as a slowdown in Europe. This was a result of the financial crisis, low levels of wind turbines orders working their way through the system, a depressed OECD electricity demand, as well as policy uncertainty in the US.
The US, traditionally one of the strongest wind markets, saw its annual installations drop by 50% from 10 GW in 2009 to just over 5 GW in 2010.
"Our industry continues to endure a boom-bust cycle because of the lack of long-term, predictable federal policies, in contrast to the permanent entitlements that fossil fuels have enjoyed for 90 years or more,” said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. ”Now that we’re competing with natural gas on cost, we need consistent federal policies to ensure we have a diverse portfolio of energy sources in this country."
In Europe also, new installed capacity in 2010 (9.9 GW) was 7.5% down on 2009 (10.7 GW), despite a 50% growth of the offshore market in countries like the UK, Denmark and Belgium, and new developments in Eastern Europe, mainly in Romania, Bulgaria and Poland.
"These figures are a warning that we cannot take for granted the continued financing of renewable energy" said Christian Kjaer. "Better access to financing is urgently needed, and the European Union must act without delay to prevent Europe losing its leadership in wind power and other renewable technologies.
“2010 was a tough year for most industries, and wind power was no exception,” concluded Steve Sawyer. “2011 will be better. Orders picked up again in the second half of 2010, and investments in the sector continue to increase.”
9.3 gigawatt (GW) of new wind power capacity was installed in the EU during 2010, reaching a total of 84 GW by the end of 2010, according to figures released by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and coinciding with today’s publication by the European Commission on financing renewable energy.
While offshore wind power installations grew 51% from 582 MW in 2009 to 883 MW last year, onshore wind power installations (8.4 GW) were down 13.9% compared to 2009 (9.7 GW).
"These figures are a warning that we cannot take for granted the continued financing of renewable energy" said Christian Kjaer. "Better access to financing is urgently needed, and the European Union must act without delay to prevent Europe losing its leadership in wind power and other renewable technologies. Today’s communication from the Commission on the financing of renewables is a start, as long as it is followed up quickly by the Commission putting its proposals into action."
Total investments in new wind power plant was unchanged at € 13 billion, compared to 2009, due to the larger share of offshore wind capacity.
Newly installed capacity in 2010 (9.3 GW) was 10% down on 2009 (10.3 GW).
"Remarkable growth in the onshore wind markets of Romania, Poland and Bulgaria could not make up for the decline in new onshore installations in Spain, Germany and the UK. Strong development of the offshore wind market was led by the UK, Denmark and Belgium," said Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive Officer of EWEA.
The overall market for renewable power capacity, including wind, solar, hydro and biomass, reached record levels in 2010, increasing 31% from 17.5 GW in 2009 to 22.6 GW in 2010. Renewable energy accounted for 41% of all new installations.
Wind power installations accounted for 17% of new electricity generating capacity in 2010, the first year since 2007 that the EU did not install more wind power than any other generating technology. The EU continues to move away from fuel oil and nuclear power for electricity production, decommissioning more old capacity than installing new capacity. However, for only the second time since 1998, the EU installed more coal power capacity than it decommissioned in 2010. 28 GW of new gas capacity was installed last year, compared to 6.6 GW in 2009. Gas represented 51% of all new power capacity in 2010.
The wind power capacity installed by the end of 2010 will, in a normal wind year, produce 181 TWh of electricity (up from 163 TWh), meeting 5.3% of overall EU electricity consumption (4.8% in 2009).
With 308 new offshore wind turbines installed in 2010 – an increase of 51% in installed wind power capacity on the previous year – offshore wind power experienced a new record growth in Europe.
In total, 883 Megawatt (MW) of new capacity, worth some €2.6 billion, were installed in 2010 in nine wind farms in five countries, making a total of 2,964 MW.
The installed offshore wind power capacity now supplies the equivalent of 2.9 million average EU households with electricity –comparable with the amounts of power consumed by the cities Berlin and Brussels together – from a total of 1,136 offshore wind turbines. In a normal wind year they would produce 11.5 Terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity.
These figures are published by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) in its “European offshore wind industry – key trends and statistics 2010” today in Brussels.
They show the United Kingdom to be European (and world) leader, with a total installed offshore wind capacity of 1,341 Megawatt (MW). The UK is followed by Denmark (854 MW), The Netherlands (249 MW), Belgium (195 MW), Sweden (164 MW), Germany (92 MW), Ireland (25 MW), Finland (26 MW) and Norway with 2.3 MW.
EWEA’s Chief Executive, Christian Kjaer commented: “With over 50% percent market growth, 2010 sets a new record for European offshore wind energy. Meanwhile, the 29 new offshore turbine models announced during 2010 show a growing commitment to the offshore wind energy sector by large, global industrial players, offering a real boost for Europe’s economy, its efforts to tackle climate change, create green jobs and exports while reducing our dependence on imported fuel”.
During 2010, 29 new offshore turbine models were announced by 21 manufacturers: 44 new turbine models have been announced by 33 manufacturers over the last two years.
2010 saw an improving financing environment with private banks, financial institutions like the European Investment Bank (EIB), utilities and pension funds backing the sector. Two major deals completed in 2010 highlighted the brighter financial outlook: Thornton Bank C-Power and Trianel Wind Farm Borkum West both came to financial close.
“Finance remains a big challenge but we are seeing improvements with more banks and other financing institutions ready to invest in large offshore wind projects,” commented Kjaer.
EWEA forecasts continued strong growth next year. Between 1,000 and 1,500 MW of new offshore wind power capacity is expected to be fully grid connected in Europe during 2011, compared with 883 MW of new capacity in 2010.
Ten European wind farms are currently under construction with a total of 3,000 MW – these will more than double the installed capacity in the 45 already grid connected offshore wind farms.
EWEA research shows that a total of 19,000 MW of offshore wind capacity is already fully consented. If constructed, it would generate 66.6 Terawatt hours of electricity in a normal wind year – enough to supply 14 of the largest capitals in Europe with electricity, including Paris, London and Berlin. Not included in this figure is large additional offshore wind energy capacity planned but not yet fully consented in the UK.
U.S. wind energy industry finishes 2010 with half the installations of 2009, activity up in 2011, now cost-competitive with natural gas
Industry weathers latest boom-bust cycle as utilities move to lock in more wind power at favorable long-term rates
Washington, D.C. – America’s wind industry built 5,115 megawatts of wind power last year, barely half of 2009’s record pace, but entered 2011 with over 5,600 megawatts currently under construction – and with wind cost-competitive with natural gas for new electric generation, utilities are moving to lock in favorable rates.
"Wind power is a great deal right now in many areas of the country," said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). "However, our industry continues to endure a boom-bust cycle because of the lack of long-term, predictable federal policies, in contrast to the permanent entitlements that fossil fuels have enjoyed for 90 years or more.
"Now that we’re competing with natural gas on cost, we need consistent federal policies to ensure we have a diverse portfolio of energy sources in this country, and don’t become overreliant on one source or another."
AWEA reported today that 3,195 megawatts (MW) of wind-powered electric generating capacity came online in the fourth quarter of 2010. That performance was below the 4,113 MW installed in the same period in 2009, but a leap from the third quarter of 2010, when only 670 MW were installed. The U.S. finished the year with a total of 5,115 MW of new wind power.
Buoyed by a one-year extension of the 1603 Investment Tax Credit for renewable energy in the final days of the 111th Congress, the industry entered the new year with over 5,600 MW of electric power currently under construction, well above the same time a year earlier. Further projects are expected to start up in time to meet the new construction deadline for the tax credit, now set to expire at the end of 2011. The industry is likely to finish 2011 ahead of 2010 numbers, according to Elizabeth Salerno, AWEA Director of Industry Data & Analysis.
"Wind’s costs have dropped over the past two years, with power purchase agreements being signed in the range of 5 to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour recently." Salerno said. "With uncertainty around natural gas and power prices as the economy recovers, wind’s long-term price stability is even more valued. We expect that utilities will move to lock in more wind contracts, given the cost-competitive nature of wind in today’s market."
Total U.S. wind capacity now stands at 40,180 MW, an increase in capacity of 15% over the start of 2010, AWEA reported today. For the first time, U.S. capacity fell second to China’s; China now has 41,800 MW in operation, an increase of 62% in capacity over a year ago, according to a Jan. 13 report from the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association.
With uncertainty over national policies still holding back the U.S. industry, state targets for renewable energy continue to drive wind installations in many areas of the country. "We’ll continue to work for a strong federal energy policy that drives the deployment of renewable energy technologies in the 112th Congress," Bode said, "but we’ll also be defending and improving on state renewable targets, as well as promoting other sources of demand – such as more distributed and community wind projects, and corporate purchasing under the new WindMade trustmark."
Texas, the leading wind power state in America for several years running, achieved a major milestone by surging past the 10,000-megawatt mark for total installations, a quarter of all wind capacity in the U.S., with the addition of 680 MW in 2010. Known as the hub of the oil-and-gas industry, Texas achieved the mark thanks to aggressive pursuit of renewable energy and a renewable electricity standard passed in 1999 and strengthened in 2005. On average, wind now generates 7.8% of the electricity in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) which covers most of the state, peaking as high as 25%.
Other states active in pursuing targets for renewable energy last year were Illinois (498 MW added), California (455 MW), South Dakota (396), and Minnesota (396 MW). Five more states, which generally began tapping their inexhaustible wind resources more recently than the leaders, showed growth rates above 100%. With the addition of Delaware and Maryland, 38 states now have utility-scale wind projects, and 14 of those have now installed more than 1,000 MW of wind power.