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An unwarranted attack

In choosing to attack Wind Force 12 (Blistering Attack on Sector Expectations, January 2003), Marc Buiting of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) does not appear to have understood its purpose. Had he managed to reach the first paragraph of the executive summary he would have read it "is not a forecast but a feasibility study whose implementation will depend on decisions taken by governments around the world."

Wind Force12, (download it for free on www.ewea.org), is both a feasibility scenario and blueprint vision document based on the current industry status. Yes, it has huge numbers; any reader can see that they are not presented as a factual outcome or a prediction. As a visionary blueprint, a central purpose of the report is to articulate our industry's untapped market potential precisely to seek greater political support, combined with the expanded ambition and progress of the industry. Wind Force 12's policy recommendations, if accepted, will unlock these numbers. The current European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) policy target for Europe is 60 GW installed by 2010, whilst in Wind Force 12 the number feasible for Europe is 100 GW, and 230 GW worldwide.

Wind Force 12 has had a strong impact on external stakeholders, to the extent that on occasions its findings assume the mantle of fact, not as a future potential. This is a consequence of its success, not an inherent flaw of the report.

To portray Wind Force 12 as merely a "wish list" and to write off "at least 75%" of that is perplexing. PWC claims that a quarter of the Wind Force 12 target is "more realistic," which for 2010 means that global installation would reach 58,500 MW. I don't know any EWEA member who believes such a figure to be a credible view of the future. Even BTM Consult forecasts that by the end of 2004 global installation will be 53,000 MW. PWCs' opinion is genuinely interesting, and if Marc Buiting wants to produce any detailed analysis, we would be happy to read it.

Wind Force 12 is no "wish;" it signifies a forceful desire to succeed. The wind industry -- our members -- knows its value, and that delivering a strategic vision is one method of gaining political support. And that is what our members pay us for -- to lobby, intervene and communicate to the world what this industry is capable of delivering.

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