Saturday, July 27, 2013

World's wind turbines to generate more than 300 GW power by year end

The global wind energy sector will soon mark a major milestone: industry figures show that by the end of 2013, wind turbines will be generating more than 300 GW of power.

That's the equivalent of 114 nuclear power plants, says Reuters, which is reporting the latest figures from the European Wind Energy Association and the Global Wind Energy Council.

Wind power moving towards 300GW mark this year. Image credit: The Telegraph

Active wind farms across the globeImage credit: Greenchipstocks

As Brazil, China, Mexico and South Africa add turbines, the figure represents modest growth compared with a year ago, when the overall total capacity was just over 280 gigawatts.

"Worldwide installed wind power will exceed 300 gigawatts of power capacity this year," Peter Sennekamp, media officer for the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), said, citing figures compiled by EWEA and the Global Wind Energy Council.

Europe, which has led the world on wind, still represents around a third of all capacity, with more than 100 gigawatts, but its growth has been stalled by uncertainty as financial crisis has meant abrupt changes to subsidy regimes.

The European Commission, the European Union's executive, has supported the idea of harmonization of subsidies across the European Union and said it will publish guidelines before the summer break in August.

The most heated debate has been in Germany, ahead of elections in September, where the cost of energy and progress of implementing the nation's Energiewende are election issues.

Heavy industry has attacked renewable subsidies, arguing they add to costs and damage competitiveness, especially when the United States benefits from cheap shale gas.

Representatives of the renewable industry say they are working to produce energy that can compete economically with traditional sources, which would lower political risk.

They say they have made progress on onshore wind and solar, but for the huge scale of offshore wind, a technology still in its infancy, subsidies are essential, probably for the rest of the decade.

Wind energy executives note conventional fuel sources have long benefited from support in the form of tax breaks for oil and gas and government help in disposing of spent nuclear fuel.

Source: Reuters

No comments: