Over 450 MW of new wind power was installed in Germany during the first three months of 2002, 50% more than in the same period last year. For the whole year, 2500-3000 MW is likely to go up, says Peter Ahmels of wind energy association Bundesverband Windenergie. "The outlook remains excellent as long as the political framework is positive," he adds, revealing some concern about the ongoing review of the workings of the Renewable Energy Law. The federal economics and environment ministries are due to present a report on the law at the end of June which could lead to it being amended either before or after the federal elections on September 22. Looking to the future, onshore wind capacity in Germany is set to double to 18,000 MW from about 9000 MW now, Ahmels predicts. "We estimate that 50% of the areas officially earmarked as wind development have not yet been developed," he explains. In coastal areas the figure is likely to be lower, however. "For instance in the Weser-Ems district, 1700 MW was built or in planning by mid-2001 and a potential of 850 MW or one-third had not yet been developed." Such detailed figures are not available for all regions. The first quarter of 2002 saw 353 turbines with a combined 457 MW commissioned in Germany, bringing the total to 11,800 turbines (9200 MW). Enercon took a 51% share of the first quarter market, followed by Enron Wind (being bought by General Electric) which took 14.43%. Exports over the same period were a modest 114 turbines with a combined total of 62 MW. The biggest importer of German machines was India. It took possession of 58 turbines totalling 27.8 MW. Italy imported 40 turbines from Germany (24 MW).
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol