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Windicator: Spring figures suggest development is slowing, but the US and UK perform well

By late spring, world windenergy capacity had nearly reached 229GW, an increase of 4.3% since the start of the year. The vagaries of data acquisition mean that the exact cut-off date varies between countries, with the latest data applicable in mid-June and the earliest data at the end of March.

A comparison with the corresponding period in 2011 suggests that the rate of development may be slowing down, although it is always hazardous to draw conclusions based on a single period of data. If a similar rate of progress is achieved during the rest of the year, then world wind capacity will exceed 254GW at end-2012. The electricity production from this amount of wind energy is almost sufficient to supply the whole of Canada, and more than enough to satisfy Germany.

Star performers

The top performers during the period - from the nations with more than 1GW of wind - were the US, which added 1.7GW in the January-March period, or 3.6% - 50% more than in the corresponding period last year, according to the American Wind Energy Association - and the UK, which added 785MW, a 13% increase.

We have carried out a significant update on our figures for installed capacity in China to reflect only capacity that is both installed and connected to the grid. Still, growth in new Chinese grid-connected capacity was sizeable indeed.

This applies equally to India, whose 1.3GW of newly installed capacity in the first three months of the year represented 8% growth.

Among former star performers, Germany and Spain have slowed right down, but Italy is performing strongly (now 7179MW in total), with the UK in close pursuit (6738MW). The long-promised Latin American surge is still awaited, although growth in this region was a respectable 8.1%. This was the highest rate of increase for any region, but it was from a low base in megawatt terms. It was easily overshadowed by Europe, which added 2.2GW, or 2.3%.

The attractiveness of wind as a competitive, carbon-free generating source has strengthened during the past few months. European gas prices have moved upwards, although gas remains a cheaper generating source than wind. There are still carbon dioxide emissions from gas-fired generation, however, and interest is growing in the prospects for carbon capture and storage for both gas and coal.

Wind beats rivals

When the costs of these installations are taken into account, together with the reduced efficiency of the generating plants, then fossil-fuelled generating costs rise above those of wind.

Nuclear is possibly wind's strongest competitor, but continuing reports of project delays and cost overruns means that any competitive advantage it once had is now being eroded. Moreover, the chief executive of utility EDF Energy has recently been quoted as suggesting that generating costs could be up to three times those of wholesale prices in the UK, which would mean they are approaching around EUR162/MWh. Onshore wind can beat this price with little doubt and the range of costs of offshore wind now runs parallel to that of nuclear. With considerable efforts being expended to reduce offshore wind costs, it is likely that offshore wind could become significantly cheaper than nuclear.

With developments in photovoltaics (PV) proceeding very rapidly, and installed costs falling, there is considerable speculation over the prospects of PV undercutting wind, and when it might occur. An analysis in sister publication WindStats suggests that cost parity is still some way off. Although installed costs of PV might be similar to those of wind in the short to medium term, the load factor of most PV installations is about half that of wind energy. To achieve generating cost parity, the installed costs of PV needs to be roughly half that of wind. A recent article in Nature Climate Change journal corroborates this analysis, based on likely generating costs in a number of sunny regions. The closest PV comes to onshore wind generating costs is in Thailand - where winds are not particularly strong.

The quarterly Windicator is an indicator of the state of play. Changes in the table can be corrections received rather than additions or subtractions. We welcome corrections.

CHINA MEGA ONSHORE PROJECT TAKES THE LEAD
A snapshot of the largest projects announced in 2012, including France's
first offshore round
Country Project Location Developer(s)
China Wulate Houqi Inner China Energine Industry;
Mongolia China Power Investment
Corporation;
Wulate Houqi Government
Japan Fukushima floating Fukushima Marubeni;Mitsubishi
Corp;
Mitsui Engineering;
Nippon Steel
France Fecamp Normandie Dong Energy;EDF Energies
Nouvelles;Nass&Wind;WPD
France Courseulles-sur-mer Normandie Dong;EDF Energies
Nouvelles; Nass&Wind;WPD
France Saint-Nazaire Offshore Dong;EDF Energies
Nouvelles;
Nouvelles;Nass&Wind;WPD
France Saint-Brieuc Bretagne Iberdrola;RES Group
China Fangxian Hubei Mingyang Wind Power
Chile Cabo Leones Huaso Ibereolica
South Oyster Bay Eastern Cape RES Group
Africa
USA Wildflower Renewable California Element Power
Energy Farm Project
Romania Pechea North-East EDF
USA Muskegon Wind Michigan Gamesa Energy USA
South
Africa Amakhala Emoyeni I Eastern Cape Suzlon Energy
South
Africa Gouda Western Cape Acciona;Aveng (Africa)
Chile Chiloe Los Lagos Ecopower
USA Schuyler & Chemung New York NextEra Energy
Canada Grand Bend Ontario Northland Power
USA Wildcat II Indiana E.on Climate
& Renewables NA
Argentina Corti Buenos Aires Greenwind
South
Africa Tsitsikamma Eastern Cape Cennergi; Tsitsikamma
Development Trust;Watt
Energy
Poland Darlowo Wind West Enerco SP;Invenergy
Energy Center II Pomerania
South
Africa West Coast 1 Western Cape Moyeng Energy
Poland Darlowo III West Enerco SP;Invenergy
Pomerania
Canada Bornish Wind Ontario Bornish Wind LP
Energy Centre
UK Limekiln Scotland Infinis
Lebanon Hawa Akkar North Hawa Akkar
Governorate
Mexico Ojuelos II Jalisco Eoliatec del Istmo
South
Africa Grassridge Eastern Cape EDF
Mexico Tamaulipas Reynosa Soriana
India Rajasthan (Eoxis) Rajasthan Suzlon Energy
Uruguay Libertador IV Maldonado Impsa
India Jamnagar Gujarat Suzlon Energy
Romania Cobadin North-East Global Wind Power A/S

Country Project Onshore/ Planned Estimated
Offshore Size online
(MW)
China Wulate Houqi Onshore 4,200 2018
Japan Fukushima floating Offshore 984 2020
France Fecamp Offshore 500 2020
France Courseulles-sur-mer Offshore 500 2020
France Saint-Nazaire Offshore 500 2020
France Saint-Brieuc Offshore 500 2019
China Fangxian Onshore 300 2015
Chile Cabo Leones Onshore 170 2012
South Oyster Bay Onshore 160 2013
Africa
USA Wildflower Renewable Onshore 150 2015
Energy Farm Project
Romania Pechea Onshore 150 2013
USA Muskegon Wind Onshore 150 2015
South
Africa Amakhala Emoyeni I Onshore 138 2014
South
Africa Gouda Onshore 135 2014
Chile Chiloe Onshore 112 2012
USA Schuyler & Chemung Onshore 110 2016
Canada Grand Bend Onshore 100 2013
USA Wildcat II Onshore 100 2015
Argentina Corti Onshore 100 2013
South
Africa Tsitsikamma Onshore 95 2014
Poland Darlowo Wind Onshore 95 2012
Energy Center II
South
Africa West Coast 1 Onshore 94 2014
Poland Darlowo III Onshore 75 2014
Canada Bornish Wind Onshore 74 2013
Energy Centre
UK Limekiln Onshore 72 2015
Lebanon Hawa Akkar Onshore 60 2014
Mexico Ojuelos II Onshore 60 2013
South
Africa Grassridge Onshore 60 2014
Mexico Tamaulipas Onshore 54 2013
India Rajasthan (Eoxis) Onshore 50 2013
Uruguay Libertador IV Onshore 50 2014
India Jamnagar Onshore 50 2012
Romania Cobadin Onshore 50 2013
Source: Windpower Intelligence

NEW LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES ENTER THE FIELD
Operating wind power capacity around the world (MW)
Start 2012 July 2012 Extra MW Change %
EUROPE
Germany 29,075 29,094 19 0
Spain 21,674 21,868 194 1
Italy 6,747 7,179 432 6
France 6,640 6,810 170 3
UK 5,953 6,738 785 13
Portugal 4,291 4,291 0 0
Denmark 3,871 3,871 0 0
Sweden 2,907 3,008 101 3
Netherlands 2,328 2,328 0 0
Turkey 1,799 1,906 107 6
Greece 1,629 1,663 34 2
Ireland 1,631 1,637 6 0
Poland 1,616 1,616 0 0
Romania 982 1,222 240 24
Austria 1,084 1,100 16 1
Belgium 1,078 1,078 0 0
Norway 491 530 39 8
Bulgaria 504 504 0 0
Hungary 329 329 0 0
Czech Republic 217 223 6 3
Finland 197 221 24 12
Estonia 184 184 0 0
Lithuania 179 179 0 0
Cyprus 134 164 30 22
Croatia 89 130 41 46
Ukraine 112 112 0 0
Switzerland 46 46 0 0
Luxembourg 44 44 0 0
Latvia 30 30 0 0
Russia 11 11 0 0
Slovakia 5 5 0 0
TOTAL 95,877 98,121 2,244 2

MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA
Egypt 550 550 0 0
Morocco 292 292 0 0
Iran 110 110 0 0
Tunisia 54 104 50 93
South Africa 45 45 0 0
Ethiopia 30 45 15 50
Cape Verde 28 30 2 7
Seychelles 18 18 0 0
Israel 6 6 0 0
Kenya 5 5 0 0
Jordan 2 2 0 0
TOTAL 1,140 1,207 67 6

ASIA PACIFIC
China* 45,050 48,655 3,605 8
India 16,084 17,372 1,288 8
Japan 2,501 2,557 56 2
Australia 2,224 2,291 67 3
New Zealand 622 623 1 0
Taiwan 564 564 0 0
South Korea 407 407 0 0
Pacific Islands 38 38 0 0
New Caledonia 0 38 38 -
Philippines 33 33 0 0
Vietnam 30 30 0 0
Sri Lanka 30 30 0 0
Pakistan 6 6 0 0
Thailand 5 5 0 0
Bangladesh 1 1 0 0
TOTAL 67,595 72,650 5,055 7

LATIN AMERICA
Brazil 1,377 1,377 0 0
Mexico 519 519 0 0
Chile 188 205 17 9
Costa Rica 132 132 0 0
Argentina 108 108 0 0
Honduras 0 102 102 -
Caribbean 91 91 0 0
Nicaragua 40 73 33 82
Uruguay 44 44 0 0
Dominican Republic 33 33 33 0
Guadeloupe 0 27 27 -
Jamaica 0 21 21 -
Colombia 20 20 0 0
Cuba 12 12 0 0
Netherlands Antilles 0 12 12 -
Bonaire 0 11 11 -
Ecuador 2 2 0 0
Falkland Islands 2 2 0 0
Peru 1 1 0 0
Martinique 0 1 1 -
TOTAL 2,569 2,776 207 8

NORTH AMERICA
Texas 10,377 10,648 271 2
Iowa 4,322 4,419 97 2
California 3,927 4,297 370 9
Illinois 2,743 2,852 109 4
Oregon 2,513 2,820 307 12
Minnesota 2,733 2,718 -15 -1
Washington 2,573 2,699 126 5
Oklahoma 2,007 2,039 32 2
Colorado 1,800 1,805 5 0
North Dakota 1,445 1,469 24 2
New York 1,403 1,418 15 1
Wyoming 1,412 1412 0 0
Indiana 1,340 1,342 2 0
Kansas 1,274 1,274 0 0
Pennsylvania 789 910 121 15
South Dakota 784 784 0 0
New Mexico 750 750 0 0
Wisconsin 631 631 0 0
Idaho 617 618 1 0
West Virginia 564 583 19 3
Missouri 459 459 0 0
Maine 397 397 0 0
Montana 386 395 9 2
Michigan 377 377 0 0
Nebraska 337 337 0 0
Utah 325 325 0 0
Arizona 138 238 100 72
New Hampshire 26 125 99 381
Maryland 120 120 0 0
Ohio 112 115 3 3
Hawaii 93 92 -1 -1
Massachusetts 46 54 8 17
Vermont 46 46 0 0
Tennessee 29 29 0 0
Alaska 10 10 0 0
New Jersey 8 8 0 0
Rhode Island 2 2 0 0
Delaware 2 2 0 0
United States 46,919 48,619 1,700 4
Canada 5,265 5,435 170 3
total 52,184 54,054 1,870 4
WORLD 219,365 228,808 9,443 4
* The Chinese figures reflect only installed capacity connected to the
grid. Total installed capacity at end-2011 was 62.4GW, according to the
latest Chinese Wind Energy Association figures.
Reductions may be due to statistical adjustment rather than actual
decline in megawatt capacity

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