New global report predicts glowing future for wind power sector

New global report predicts glowing future for wind farm sector. For the second month in a row, a leading American research and consulting firm that analyses global clean technology markets has released a report forecasting a robustly healthy future for the wind energy sector.

Conducted by Pike Research, the latest report claims that wind turbines installations by 2017 will represent a €113 billion global industry, up from €57 billion in 2011.

Over that period, the report added, the cumulative investment in new wind farm capacity will total €606 billion. The report also found that total onshore and offshore wind generation capacity during the same period will increase from 235.8 gigawatts (GW) in 2011 to 562.9 GW in 2017.

Noting that wind power now accounts for the majority of the world’s non-hydropower renewable electricity capacity, the report said the sector has already reached approximately one-fifth of total electricity generation in some countries.

“Most in the energy industry appreciate [wind power] as a mainstream technology that is key to not only reducing carbon emissions, but also meeting rapidly increasing electricity demand around the world,” according to a press release accompanying the report.

The report added that while the global economic recession significantly slowed the pace of new wind power installations last year, turbine deployment activity remains strong and overall capacity will continue to rise at a healthy pace.

“Cumulative wind power capacity will grow steadily over the next six years,” the press release quoted senior Pike analyst Peter Asmus as saying. “Despite the challenging market conditions for the wind energy industry, this is a dynamic time for innovation in the market, as vendors are pushing turbines to sizes never before thought practical or economical.”

The report predicted the global wind industry will continue to be led by three major regional markets: Asia, dominated by China and, to a lesser extent, India; Europe, led by Germany and Spain; and North America, led by the United States.

An earlier Pike report released in October found that the European offshore wind sector will continue to lead the world market for the foreseeable future, with the region having 75% of global installations in six years.

The European Wind Energy Association is set to publish its own offshore wind energy report later this month at the EWEA Offshore 2011 event in Amsterdam. The offshore sector is on a strong growth path and it is set to create thousands of jobs over the next decade. The report is expected to look into falling costs in offshore, the supply chain, and necessary infrastructure including cables, vessels and ports.

Chris Rose,