National wind turbine sales at full stop

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Not one wind turbine sale has been clinched so far this year in Denmark, a reflection of the high degree of uncertainty about the future payment system for power from wind turbines, reports the Danish Wind Turbine Manufacturer's Association (DWTMA). Denmark's system of fixed price payment ended last year and the government has said it will be replaced by a market-based support system based on trade in green power credits. The rules for this system are still awaited, however, and without them no financing is available, says DWTMA. The association warns that the coming market crash will lead to a 25% drop in wind industry employment in Denmark with the loss of around 1000 jobs. Meantime, orders placed last year mean that turbine installations in 2000 will reach about the same level as 1999's record breaking year: 388 MW. In a year of normal winds, 13% of Denmark's electricity will come from wind plant by the end of this year, estimates the association. Total capacity at end 1999 was 1771 MW (5620 turbines). More than two-thirds of the output comes from the one- third of wind turbines installed in the past four years. Danish turbine manufacturers took 50% of the global market last year, selling 2241 MW of wind plant, 17% of which was to domestic customers. (Market share was 65% if the production of foreign subsidiaries is included). The annual growth rate in manufacturing over the past five years was 44%. DWTMA estimates a 10% growth in industry activity this year "and slightly stronger growth in 2001."

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