Global market outlook report reveals latest developments

In North America lack of transmission capacity and project permitting barriers will restrict the wind market's growth rate to 13% from 2007 to 2012, says Morten Breum Keller of Denmark's Make Consulting, commenting on the projections in his latest market outlook report, which looks at the prospects for wind power in more than 40 countries. In the report, Asia is tipped for a compound annual growth (CAGR) rate of 17% to 2012, while Europe's will fall to 7%. In Europe's two largest wind markets, CAGR in Germany will decrease, with installed capacity dropping to 1000 MW a year, while Spain will stagnate at 2000 MW a year, according to Make. Growth will be provided by the UK, Portugal, France and Italy and, towards the end of the period, new markets in eastern Europe. The report concludes that while the global industry's growth rate will fall, stable markets are on the way. "Capacity shortages and industry maturation are the main reasons for the industry moving from high double-digit growth rates to more modest growth," according to Make. "We also see a more stable market backed by positive trends in numerous markets." Globally, this year will be another one of 20% growth with about 18 GW of wind plant put into operation, up from 15 GW in 2006. But growth in 2008 will halve to around 10% with about 20 GW installed. "The lower growth in 2008 will be due to continued bottlenecks in the supply chain," says Make. Currently, insufficient volumes of gearboxes and bearings mean the global market cannot grow beyond 20 GW a year, says the report. Even if production of these components is rapidly increased, the next component barrier, castings, forgings and alloys, is only just around the corner followed soon after by insufficient volumes of generators. "In the following years we will also see lower growth rates due to increased focus on consolidation in the entire value chain after the high growth years," says Make. "We expect to see consolidation of the major capacity expansions being carried out in these years." All in all, global CAGR in the five years from 2007 to 2012 will settle at 11%, based on installations in 2006, resulting in around 210 GW of wind power capacity by 2012 when wind station installations will have reached 28 GW a year. Wind capacity additions during those five years will require EUR 160 billion of investment, says Make.

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