Any way the wind blows

Wind power technology worth 5.8 billion Euros was installed throughout the EU in 2002 according to new figures released by the European Wind Energy Association.

Wind power technology worth 5.8 billion Euros was installed throughout the EU in 2002, according to new figures released by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

5,871 Megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity was added to European electricity grids last year. This is a 31% increase over the previous year where 4,493MW came online.

‘The European market has grown by an average 35 percent per year over the past five years, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Given the right conditions the global wind power market could be worth 25 billion Euros a year by 2010,’ said Corin Millais, CEO of EWEA.

Total installed wind power capacity grew 33% in the EU countries to 23,056 MW by December 2002. The electricity production from this is equivalent to burning 20 million tonnes of coal in a conventional power plant.

Germany, Spain and Denmark accounted for almost 90% of the wind power capacity installed in 2002. With 3,247 MW, Germany accounted for 55% of the installed capacity reaching a total of 12,001 MW by the end of 2002, enough to meet 4.7% of national electricity needs from wind power.

Spain followed with 1,493 MW to reach a total of 4,830 MW. Denmark installed 497 MW to reach 2,880 MW, enough to meet 20% of the country’s electricity needs. Also the Netherlands (217 MW) and Italy (103 MW) reached three-digit figures for installation in 2002, according to EWEA.

‘The industry is capable of continuing these high growth rates, but we need additional political backing beyond Germany, Spain and Denmark, which account for 89% of the2002 market,’ said Millais.