Wind power sector continues to boom

USA to replace Germany as the biggest market

Hamburg/Kiel, September 10, 2008 - The global wind power sector looks back on a successful year 2007 which saw installed capacity grow by 27 percent to 93,825 megawatts. A study just released by HSH Nordbank analyses the growth of wind power in Germany as well as trends in France, Britain, Poland, the USA, Canada, China and India.

“More and more countries are committing to wind power,” says Peter Rieck, Vice-chairman of the Managing Board of HSH Nordbank, pointing out that the 2007 growth trend was led by the USA, where 5,244 megawatts of newly installed wind power capacity mean that the pace of expansion doubled compared to the prior year. “Stateside growth exceeded all expectations,” says Rieck. Substantial capacity additions were also reported from Spain (3,522 MW), China (3,304 MW), Germany (1,667 MW) and India (1,575 MW). While the established German market has so far held its own at the top of the ranking, much faster capacity addition in the USA suggests that the US market will probably overtake Germany two years from now at the latest.

Rising energy prices, the much greater significance of climate protection policy and, not least, supply security - these three factors have provided momentum for the wind power sector in the past two years. “Supply security is possibly the single most important factor contributing to the success of wind power,” says Peter Rieck, highlighting the clear rise in worldwide energy requirements as a result of the economic boom in China and India against the background of the potential insecurities linked to several oil exporting countries including the Middle East and Nigeria. “More and more countries are relying on wind power as a precaution against possible bottleneck situations,” says Rieck.

Major energy providers have increasingly invested in wind power projects in recent years. As was to be expected, the average size of wind power projects has grown as a result of their market entry. However, a number of growth impediments also became evident in 2007. For example, new capacity additions did not keep up with the rising demand as gear and rotor blade manufacturers were working to full capacities. Other impediments include insufficient power grid capacities and coverage areas. HSH Nordbank expects to see regionally disparate trends over the coming years. The German wind power market will not resume its leading position. Significant growth will be achieved in the USA and in Spain, with India and China making substantial progress as well. France will gain in importance within Europe. Klaus Bernhart, Global Head of Energy at HSH Nordbank, said: “Assuming worldwide capacity additions of total just under 25 gigawatts in 2008, we expect installed capacity to grow by an average of 22 percent through the 2007 - 2012 period.”

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