Wind market global status 2006

Global wind power capacity increased by about 11,700 MW in 2005, the largest volume ever installed in a single year and 43% more than in 2004. Total world wind power generating capacity now lies at over 59,300 MW, including 100-200 MW not yet fully confirmed. For comparison, peak demand in the United Kingdom is just over 60,000 MW.

Development this year will set another new record -- a global total of 75,000 MW is within reach -- although the year-on-year percentage leap is not likely to be as big as it was between 2004 and 2005, given that 2004 was an unusually sluggish year. Wind power's annual growth rate in 2005 was 24%, higher than the 20% in 2004 but not enough to avoid a fall in the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the past five years to around 26%, compared with 28.5% in 2004. World wind energy capacity, however, is still doubling every three years. Even with a CAGR of 10% over the next ten years, wind capacity will reach 140,000 MW in 2015. Our forecast is for 100,000 MW before 2010.

Progress in Germany slowed again in 2005, with only an 11% increase in capacity. In terms of new megawatt installed, however, it was only beaten by the US. Germany still has by far the largest volume of capacity of any country, but both the US and Spain are closing the gap. The Spanish market grew by 21% last year, making it the second country to exceed 10,000 MW. Other high growth rates in Europe came from Italy (36%), Portugal (96%) and the UK (50%). France, Ireland and Norway also recorded healthy increases, but from lower baselines. Overall in Europe, capacity increased to nearly 41,000 MW, although Europe's annual growth of 18% was below the global figure.

The US saw a 36% increase on its poor performance in 2004 and will also soon break through to 10,000 MW. Canada's growth was 54%, though from a much lower base. In the Pacific region, capacity increased by 37%, due to steady growth in Japan (17%), and strong growth in Australia (96%). In Asia there is now nearly 6000 MW of wind capacity, with India's growth at 49% and China's at 65%. As we predicted at this time last year, Japan, Portugal, the UK and China all pushed past the 1000 MW milestone in 2005.

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