The first half of 1999 has been dominated by record breaking wind development in the US, which has added around 1000 MW of new capacity over the past 12 months. No other single country has achieved so much so fast in the history of wind energy. Installation of up to 100 MW of rated capacity in single projects has proved once and for all that wind power is truly a "utility scale" technology. The mammoth developments have also revealed how fast the addition of wind megawatts can be once large scale projects are part of the portfolio, Canada being another example with its 100 MW Gaspe wind plant. Across the Atlantic, however, two of the most active markets, Germany and Denmark, continue to deliver impressive growth rates with far smaller projects. Germany's wind power increased by around 250 MW this first half year and Denmark's by around 100 MW. Both these rates of development are about 50% greater than in the same period last year, according to The Windicator. Europe's star, however, is Spain, where wind plants are going up so fast that keeping count of them is hard. Around 1000 MW is on schedule for installation this year, mainly as large wind farms. Far less is happening in other countries, though Sweden and Italy-both markets with capital subsidies for wind plant-each added about 30 MW.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol