Wind growth rates still slowing, reveals third quarter report

Installation of new wind plant in Germany this year is 25% down on that in 2002. During the first nine months of the year, 1414 MW of new wind generating capacity was installed, supplied by 906 turbines. By the same time last year, 1889 MW had gone up, reports German wind energy association Bundesverband Windenergie (BWE). At the end of September, total wind generation capacity in Germany was 13,404 MW, made up of 14,647 wind turbines. "The figures are in line with expectations, in view of more stringent financing and planning delays," comments BWE's Peter Ahmels. He urges for a swift passage of proposed amendments to the renewable energy law, the Eneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz, which sets the rates of pay and conditions for wind power purchases in Germany. Leader among wind turbine suppliers for the first three quarters of 2003 was, as usual, home company Enercon, which installed 381 turbines with a combined capacity of 586 MW to take 41.8% of the German market. Vestas followed with a 19.8% market share after installing 153 turbines (280 MW). Winds in Germany have been poor this year. Norbert Allnoch of the international renewable energies economic forum at Münster university warns that turbine operators are facing a sharp drop in turnover as a result. The institute's wind index shows a drop of 14.3% for coastal areas and of 16.4% for inland areas in the first nine months, compared with the ten year wind average over 1993-2002. Nonetheless, with at least 2000 MW being added to the total this year, wind generation in 2003 will beat that in 2002. Electricity federation VDEW reports a 10% increase in wind output to 10 TWh for the "low-wind first six months" of 2003, compared with the January to June period of 2002, a performance that could be repeated in the second half of this year.