A gigawatt of sales a year

Denmark's sales of wind power capacity have now reached over 1000 MW a year, reports the national association of wind turbine manufacturers. Over the past 12 months wind turbines with the capacity to generate more than a gigawatt of power were shipped by Denmark's wind turbine manufacturers to customers in 24 countries. The domestic market, however, remains the strongest. Of the 1021 MW sold between October 1996 and October 1997, customers in Denmark bought 325.6 MW -- nearly one-third of total sales.

Of the remaining two-thirds, Germany remains Denmark's largest export outlet, accounting for nearly 215 MW, followed by Spain with 165 MW. Denmark's third largest market in recent times has proved to be China, which imported 83.4 MW of Danish technology in the 12 months prior to October, just ahead of Britain, which imported 67.5 MW.

Other market trends revealed in the Danish industry's sales statistics show that Italy has become a significant new sales outlet. The 45 MW sold to Italy over the past 12 months moves the country up into sixth place in the Danish industry's league table of sales, ahead of Ireland, the Netherlands, the United States and Sweden. And during the three months from July to September, Italy was Denmark's third largest export market taking 21 MW, although it still lay well behind Spain (64 MW) and Germany (30 MW).

A turbine an hour

The gigawatt of Danish industry sales means that one 600 kW turbine was made by the country's manufacturers during every working hour of the past year, reports Søren Krohn of the industry association. He also points out that the gigawatt sales record equals the maximum power of four medium sized coal fired power stations. Direct employment in the Danish wind industry now totals 2065 people, the highest number ever.

Sales have been evenly spread throughout 1997, with just over 234 MW shipped in each of the summer and autumn quarters. Total sales in the first nine months of 1997 amount to 685 MW compared with 726 MW during the whole of 1996, indicating that this year will again break records for the Danish industry. "The wind turbine industry's production has quadrupled in four years and the sector and its suppliers now employ 10,000 people in Denmark," says the association's new chairman, Palle Nørgaard. "Over 60% of the world's wind turbines are made in Denmark."

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