Wind passes 300 GW milestone despite slower growth

World wind capacity increased by 13% in 2013 -- less than in 2012, when it rose by 22%. Additions in megawatts were also down on 2012, from 49.2GW in 2012 to 33.1GW last year.

World wind-energy capacity now exceed 300 GW, and interestingly only over a third of the total is located in Europ. Europe has installed 11.5 GW of new power capacity, below the installed in 2012 (13.8 GW).

In the Asia-Pacific region, China is the biggest investor in wind energy, while India, which has been a strong performer in previous years, added less than 2 GW.

In the North American continent, a modest progress has been done. The US Department of Energy suggests that about 6 GW will be commissioned in 2014. While the growth of installation of wind power in South America seems to be taking off, with nearly 1 GW installed in Brazil.

Firmly competitive

It has been suggested by several authorities that the amount of capacity added in 2014 will exceed the 2013 figure. Nuclear power station construction costs have been revealed due to new installation in US and UK, showing the competitive costs of wind power. Therefore, there is no longer any doubt that onshore wind is cheaper than nuclear. On the other hand, no renewable energy technologies show best figures than wind with the possible exception of biomass in certain locations. Finally, only natural gas seems to show slightly better figures than wind, particularly in the US, thanks to the availability of shale gas.


European Comission strategies for 2030: reduce gas imports and increasing jobs

The European Wind Energy Association's chief executive Thomas Becker said that a renewable energy target of "at least 30%" would allow Europe to significantly scale back its fossil fuel imports. This ambitious plan may lead to spur green growth, create more jobs and attract investment while maintaining Europe's position as a global leader in renewable energy. Concretely, A 30% renewables target can foster 568,000 more jobs in Europe by 2030. Furthermore, as Becker commented in a letter to Europe's leaders: "The situation in the Crimea is a wake-up call: Europeans rely on the most unstable and volatile parts of the world for energy security. For each new fossil fuel fired plant we build, we commit to buying the fuel abroad for years to come without security”.

Source: Oliver Joy,

AWEA lauds turbine technology gains

Richard A. Kessler , AWEA, Friday, March 14 2014

Increasing turbine performance and production has driven down wind energy costs, enabling the industry to become even more competitive with conventional electricity sources, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

It notes in a release that wind generation has outpaced capacity additions thanks to innovative technological improvements. Wind installations have increased 140% during the past five years while electricity output from those turbines had risen at a rate of 200%.

AWEA highlights that technological innovation and operational improvements are driving turbine performance and output, which in turn has lowered energy costs and allowed development in regions with lower wind speeds.

Advancements undertaken by manufacturers include designing taller towers and turbines with longer and lighter blades, allowing rotor diameters to exceed 100 metres.



 Wind installations across Europe have increased by over 10% on last year, but output has increased by over 14%, the figures reveal.

Across Europe, wind power installations increased by 10.5% over the last year, as our map shows. Yet, wind-power generation, noted below, is estimated to have increased by 14.6% on 2012. Be it caused by better grid mangement, smarter turbines, more wind, higher capacity factors, this is good news for the sector.

Individually, Denmark produced the greatest proportion of its electricity from wind, at 33%. The largest quantity came from Spain - 54TWh, or 18% of total generation. As recently reported, this made wind the biggest electricity producer in Spain.

Germany (49TWh), despite a higher installed wind power capacity, produced slightly less, at 49TWh.

Wind's contribution to Electricity

 Amount of generated electricity on power system in terawatt hours




2030 framework for climate and energy policies

March 7, 2014

Wind energy will be boosted by the new strategies and regulations in Europe. Climate and energy targets for 2020 are progressing satisfactorily and the European commission has just launched an integrated policy framework for the period up to 2030. The energy goals are based on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40%, below the 1990 level; further objective consists in reducing by 80% in 2050. The Commission proposes increasing the share of renewable energy to at least 27% of the EU's energy consumption by 2030, which will drive continued investment in the sector, thus helping to create growth and jobs.