Three-fold increase in output from wind energy

HSH Nordbank study illuminates the prospects

Hamburg/Kiel, September 17, 2010 - The wind power sector gained a substantial degree of pace in 2009. Despite the financial crisis, more than 38 gigawatts (GW) of power generating capacity added to the grid equated to almost twice as much as in 2007 – the previous year’s figure was topped by nearly 50%.

HSH Nordbank has just published these figures in its 7th study on the wind power sector – ahead of the world’s largest wind power trade fair, the Husum Wind ( 21 to 25 September). The focus is on the current situation of this growth sector. The study also provides an outlook on future trends. The focus here is on the key factors that influence the wind power sector. At the same time, the study illustrates the most important countries, their respective market and regulatory setting.

Worldwide, wind power capacity rose to 158.5 GW in 2009. The trend is gaining considerably in regional spread. Total capacity in China more than doubled with 13.8 GW from newly installed facilities. With 25.8 GW in overall production capacity, China has just overtaken the erstwhile pacesetter (until 2007), Germany. Only in the United States the capacity to generate power from wind energy is even higher at 35.1 GW.

Offshore wind energy has clearly gained in significance. Although the power generated in this way is much more expensive than on land because of the higher capital investment and operating costs, the EU already had installed facilities with a total output of just over 2 GW at the turn of the year. Alpha Ventus off the coast at Borkum is now Germany’s first offshore wind farm to be connected to the grid.

In summary, the prospects for wind energy may be described as excellent. Although delays in funding projects that are tending towards becoming ever larger are likely to hold back additional construction this year, HSH Nordbank expects to see stepped-up worldwide expansion in wind energy. The Bank forecasts that output will far more than triple from just under 160 GW (end of 2009) to more than 600 GW in 2019.

The study can be viewed on HSH Nordbank’s website.

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