Development from the Windicator

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The wind power industry's propensity to score impressive annual records for newly installed capacity year after year may be on shaky ground for the first time in a long time. In the first six months of 2007, about 4400 MW was added globally according to our megawatt tally this quarter (table), about the same volume as logged by The Windicator for the first six months of 2006. The indication is that last year's 15,000 MW record may not be beaten by much, though some huge projects coming down the line in America may change that outlook.

Nonetheless, used as the industry is to first-half-year records being beaten by up to one to two thousand megawatts, the levelling off could be a sign that the hardware shortages first reported two years ago (Windpower Monthly, March 2005) are now making themselves felt. Installation records may no longer be a guaranteed annual happening.

That is not to say the wind market's 25% growth rate for the past five years is about to come rattling down. Over the past 12 months about 15,250 MW was added, a tad more than installed in the whole of 2006. If the growth rate falls, it will not be by much.

Spain, India and the United States are spearheading growth this year with France putting in a good performance too. Other particularly active markets are Germany, the UK and Portugal, with New Zealand popping into that category too, though probably only temporarily. China is probably among the leaders too, but no reliable count of megawatts is yet to be had from the market players.

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