Development from the Windicator

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A little under 3000 MW has been added to the world generation total so far this year, about 200 MW more than in the same period last year, despite a contracting German market as it runs out of wind plant sites. Germany has added around 1200 MW so far in 2003, about 250 MW less than in the same period last year. The indication is that the combined growth of other markets is making up for Germany's slow down.

Spain has added about 370 MW so far and the US about 400 MW. The surprise market this year is land locked Austria, where a one year capital subsidy and fixed premium tariff is spurring about 300 MW, of which about 130 MW is installed so far. Meanwhile, some of the considerable activity in Australia and Canada is starting to show up in the statistics, with each adding nearly 100 MW.

Traditionally the annual wind rush occurs in the final quarter of the year and installations in 2003 are on track to exceed those in 2002 by a couple of hundred megawatt. It seems feasible that 2003 installations could reach about 7000 MW, equal to the record year in 2001. Germany is expected to reach 2400 MW, some 1000 MW less than last year, but the US alone, with at least another 1200 MW to come, will make up that difference.

Looking further ahead, 2004 is not looking as bleak as some would have us believe, despite the expectation that Germany will install no more than about 1500 MW. Other markets are coming into their own, particularly Scotland and UK offshore. Spain looks to be heading for an all time record in 2004 and some long awaited markets are waking up to. While wind's stunning growth rate of 27% over the past ten years looks to be slowing (not surprisingly), current activity suggests that prophesies of impending market doom have been exaggerated.

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