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New entrants aim high

WORLDWIDE: From the wind-rich steppes of the Ukraine to the coast of Senegal, wind power is breaking new ground. What's more, these emerging markets are beginning to think big

Romania's Fantanele-Cogeleac project will be one of the largest wind farms in Europe
Romania's Fantanele-Cogeleac project will be one of the largest wind farms in Europe

Emerging market countries such as Turkey, Brazil, Romania, Poland each saw their installed wind capacity more than double between 2009 and 2010. According to our data, this growth is set to continue, with a number of countries in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East expected to see new capacity coming online in 2011 and 2012.

In Eastern Europe, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and the Ukraine's Crimea dominate onshore projects. In Crimea, the major project is the 350MW Sivash wind farm in the Dimitrovka district. It is being developed by the Concorde Group, which expects the project to generate electricity by 2012. Three other schemes in Crimea have 2011/12 operational dates.

 

Ukraine's relative enthusiasm for wind power is partly down to the wind-rich steppes but also to its sometimes fractious relationship with Russia and gas giant Gazprom, on which it is reliant for gas supplies. Russia has suspended winter gas supplies to Ukraine on occasion because of disputes over payments and tariffs.

Bulgaria's biggest development is the 300MW Murgash Wind Park to the north-east of Sofia. Ecosource Energy and WorldWind expect it to come online in 2012. Romania's leading project is the 252.5MW Fantanele-Cogealac wind farm, developed by the CEZ Group with 101 GE 2.5MW turbines, opening in 2011. Both countries have a historic reliance on imported Russian gas for electricity generation. There are other onshore projects in the region for 2011 in Poland, Estonia and Belarus.

The first large wind park in the Middle East is Multimatrix and AES Corporation's 155MW project in Israel's Golan Heights, near the contested Syrian border. Early last year, turbine manufacturer Suzlon Energy said it saw "great potential" for wind power in the Middle East and North Africa, notably in Iran, Egypt, Morocco and Oman. Suzlon believes the Middle East could generate 10-20GW of wind power in the next 20 years.

In east Africa, the biggest project is the 300MW Lake Turkana wind farm in north-west Kenya, with 353 Vestas turbines. The main project in the west is Senegal's 125MW Taiba Ndiaye, managed by Senelec and Sarreole, with 50 Nordex 2.5MW turbines.

South Africa, the continent's biggest economy, has just one modest 100MW project planned for 2011 — Hopefield in the Western Cape. This is a reflection of its reliable, established coal resources.

In 2010, GE said it planned to invest in Africa's wind sector to boost the World Bank's 'Light Africa' initiative aimed at increasing access to electricity. The World Bank says more than 500 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to reliable electricity. GE has identified Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and Egypt as key wind energy markets beyond 2011.

Latin America report points to 46GW installed capacity by 2025

Latin America boasts some major projects for 2011/12. The biggest is Argentina's 600MW Santa Cruz project, using Vestas turbines. Chile's Talinay Oriente scheme in Coquimbo is also sizeable at 500MW, with the nearby project at El Arrayan coming in at 100MW. In all, Chile has five projects set to get underway for 2011.

Panama's Rosa de los Vientos development, led by Unión Eólica Panameña, also one of the bigger Latin American projects at 180MW, is scheduled for 2012.

Other onshore wind farms in the region are in Honduras, Venezuela and Brazil. Although the latter two countries are rich in oil and gas resources, other states in the region are not. The Andean countries, especially, are seen as having huge potential for wind energy.

Despite the modest pipeline of work visible in 2011, Brazil remains Latin America's leading country in terms of renewable energy and is on track to install 31.6GW of the region's 46GW by 2025 according to a recent study by IHS Emerging Energy Research. In addition, Mexico has two projects totalling 324MW in the Oaxaca region (left), looking likely to go ahead by 2012.

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