Two new reports show that the wind energy is accelerating its already-fast pace of growth.
The more conservative report, issued by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), projects the global wind energy market will reach 240,000 megawatts (MW) by 2012, a total growth rate of 155%. BTM Consult put its five-year projection slightly higher at 287,000 MW.
BTM predicted an annual growth rate of 20.7% in its "International Wind Power Industry" report and said annual installation capacity will increase from 19,791 MW in 2007 to 50,000 MW in 2012.
GWEC said it adjusted its previous forecast as a result of an unexpected strong increase in the development of wind projects worldwide last year.
"The wind energy market continues to achieve tremendous growth rates, and has now hit 20 gigawatts of new installations per year," said GWEC Secretary General Steve Sawyer. "The fastest areas of growth for the next five years will be North America and Asia, and more specifically the U.S. and China."
BTM reported similar trends in North America and China over the next five years and noted that China is beginning to ramp up production of wind turbines and components.
In Other News:
In a related story, Spanish utility Iberdrola (IBE1.DE) surpassed FPL Energy (NYSE: FPL) to become the global leader in wind power ownership in 2007, according to Emerging Energy Research.
The industry research firm said Iberdrola added 1.55 gigawatts (GW) of new wind construction in 2007--primarily in Spain and the U.S.--and over 1.45 GW through the acquisition of ScottishPower's wind assets in the U.S. and U.K. The company now has a total of more than 6.9 GW, while FPL has between 5 and 6 GW.