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16. June 2010

Wind industry expects rapid increase in share of power generating

Wind energy will continue to grow in importance as an economic factor, playing an increasing part in Europe’s electricity supply and efforts to combat climate change. Installed capacity is expected to increase by several times in the next 20 years, as underlined at a press conference to mark Global Wind Day, held in Berlin on 15 June in the run-up to HUSUM WindEnergy 2010. The positive development in the wind industry is reflected at HUSUM WindEnergy, the world’s leading wind energy trade fair, which will showcase the latest technology and innovations. It is to be held in Husum, North Germany, from 21 to 25 September 2010, with more than 800 exhibitors – manufacturers, component suppliers and service providers from more than 30 countries. Exhibition space has been expanded from 30,000 sqm (2008) to about 43,000 sqm in 2010, as announced in Berlin by Hanno Fecke, Managing Director of Messe Husum.

“HUSUM WindEnergy will again be the international meeting point of this worldwide growth industry, featuring leading turbine manufacturers and equipment suppliers,” said Hanno Fecke. “Offshore will be one of the key topics at Husum,” added Peter Bergleiter, Project Director at Hamburg Messe und Congress, the cooperation partner of Messe Husum. “The maritime industry is also very interested in offshore wind energy, with opportunities to build special-purpose ships for construction of offshore wind farms, and for production of steel towers and rotor blades. Our contribution as cooperation partner to HUSUM WindEnergy is enriched by our international experience and also our maritime expertise, including a successful record as the organiser of SMM, the world’s leading shipbuilding fair.”

Wind energy’s growing share of the electricity mix was addressed at the Berlin press conference by Gerd Krieger, Deputy Managing Director of Power Systems at VDMA (German Engineering Federation) – “The manufacturers of wind energy systems have a vital role to play in the restructuring of power supply in Europe. Expert forecasts for the various power generating technologies show that, by 2030, wind energy will account for nearly 25% of total power generation in the EU 27.” Germany is expected to triple its wind energy capacity by 2030, and the EU as a whole to multiply its wind capacity by five. Gerd Krieger added that “One of the essentials will be to modernise and upgrade existing plant – that is a whole new area of activities.”

An overview of development of wind energy worldwide up to 2014 was given by Angelika Pullen, Press Officer of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) – “Outside of Europe, too, we are expecting strong growth in wind energy, especially in markets which are already growing fast, such as China and the US, and also in Latin America and Africa. We expect new construction to rise from 38.3 GW to 62.5 GW per annum in the next five years, giving a total installed energy capacity of more than 400 GW by 2014. Our longer-term forecasts suggest that by 2030, between 25 and 30% of global electricity needs will be covered by wind power. However, that depends on governments reaching a binding, effective agreement on combating climate change.” GWEC is an international cooperation partner of HUSUM WindEnergy, as are VDMA and BWE.

The potential of offshore power generating, making use of the wind speeds there, was highlighted by Rüdiger Schaaf, CEO of SIAG Schaaf Industrie AG. “Offshore gives the German wind industry outstanding growth opportunities worldwide. But we need to fulfil certain requirements if we want to continue our success story in this new technological field. We need an appropriate offshore power grid, working through the Federal Network Agency and the grid operators.” The installation equipment and port logistics will need to be optimised. Offshore wind energy also has to be better coordinated with the maritime industry, to ensure sustainable development of the structurally disadvantaged coastal region,” said Schaaf. “Germany’s commitment in this sector will pay off. It is investing in a rising technology, and creating new jobs.”

The German WindEnergy Association (BWE) currently expects a total of about 100,000 jobs in the German wind energy sector. Despite its strong focus on exports, at more than 80% for manufacturers of turbines and components, German companies continue to see their home market as an important part of their activities. BWE expects plenty of market activity in the coming years in new installation onshore and in repowering. By 2020, under the existing regime, BWE expects a total of 45,000 megawatts installed capacity onshore and 10,000 MW offshore. That means wind energy could account for 25% of power supply within ten years. “That is why we believe it is superfluous to extend the period for phasing out nuclear power stations, as currently planned by the Federal Government,” said Sylvia Pilarsky-Grosch, Vice President BWE. “We have already crossed the bridge into the age of renewables, so there is no need for ‘bridging technologies’”. 

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