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Clean Power Wind turbines in Spain via Shutterstock

Published on July 4th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Wind Power — 241,000 MW New Capacity 2012 To 2017 (Forecast)

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July 4th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan
 
Wind power continues to be the leader in the clean energy arena (and even in the energy arena as a whole in many ways and places). Someday, the projection is that solar power will catch up and become the #1 source of energy worldwide, but until then, wind is having its day in the sun (no pun initially intended). The latest forecast from Navigant Research (formerly known as Pike Research) is that 241,000 MW of new wind power capacity will be installed worldwide from 2012 to 2017. Read more in this Green Building Elements repost:

Wind Power Forecast: Industry Will Add Over 241 Gigawatts of Capacity from 2012 to 2017 (via Green Building Elements)

With the addition of 44.9 gigawatts in new installations in 2012, world wind power capacity grew to approximately 285.7 GW, an increase of 18.6 percent in the total wind power installation base. Average annual growth over the past 5 years has been 17…



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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Others

    Of late much larger wind turbines are coming. A 10 MW turbine from Sway and 11 MW turbine from Airgenesis.

    And the current 2 MW – 3 MW turbines are already generating at a cost below Natgas and soon they may even replace Natgas and capture bigger market share.

    All these forecasting agencies are moneyed by Oil to give a pessimistic prediction for renewable energy.

    • Bob_Wallace

      ” current 2 MW – 3 MW turbines are already generating at a cost below Natgas”

      Got a link for that? It’s the sort of stuff I like to have in my foot locker so that when the need arises….

  • Bob_Wallace

    Interesting things are happening in existing wind farms….

    “By 2020, swapping aging wind turbines with more powerful modern units will have raised annual electricity generation at refurbished sites from 1,524 GWh to 8,221 GWh. (That’s 5x.)

    A 2-MW wind turbine coming off the production line with a rotor diameter of 80 metres can generate four to six times as much electricity as the 1-GWh annual yield of a 500-kW wind turbine with a 40-metre rotor built in 1995. This is the fundamental thinking behind wind repowering.

    Replacing old machines with fewer, larger and taller modern units that are quieter, far more reliable, and capable of producing vastly more electricity is an activity that has increased significantly during the last five years, according to GlobalData’s 2012 report Wind Repowering. The report says the value of the world’s repowering market will grow massively in the next five years. In 2011 wind farms producing around 183 GWh annually were replaced with turbines capable of generating 774 GWh. But by 2020, repowering will drive an increase in annual power generation at repowered sites from 1,524 GWh to 8,221 GWh.

    (There’s a bunch of good information worth a read…)

    Selling the old turbines from a repowered farm can significantly offset other project costs. Well-maintained turbines can run for many further years and the buying market is international–Vietnam, South America, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Turkey–with second-hand turbines sold directly by the new developers or via specialist intermediaries. Projects with certain grid or height limitations in countries like the UK are also willing buyers of pre-owned turbines.

    There are lots of turbines which are prematurely replaced by bigger turbines and these are typically no more than 12 years old. These are the ones that are interesting for a second life in countries where space limitations are not an issue.”

    http://www.evwind.es/2013/07/02/repowering-gives-new-life-to-old-wind-sites/34106

    I suspect there’s a lot of wind capacity growth that slipped under Navigant’s radar.

    BTW, Altamont Pass wind farm is getting repowered with larger wind turbines. Bird kills are falling significantly. (Not that they were ever as high as the right-wing press claims they were.)

  • Ivor O’Connor

    I’m reading “An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.” and on page 5 table 2.1: “Wind power will deliver at least 2.62% of the world’s electricity in 2013, growing to 4.9% in 2017″!

    So what the heck. Their own “Navigant Research” shows the growth at 17% not 5%. I’ll have to read the rest of the Executive Summary. Maybe there is something that explains why they say one number here and another apparently somewhere else.

  • Ivor O’Connor

    How accurate have they been in the past with their renewable prognostications and how much influence do they have?

    I say I’ve been spot-on with my prognostications over the last five years and I say over the next five years wind will grow on average faster than 18% annually.

    So maybe we should take a look at their actual track record?

    • Matt

      Yes, it would make a fun set of charts. Each of the big players 5 year projects moving through time, plotted on top of what happened. I give 2 to 1 odds that Pike and IEA have under predicated PV, wind, batteries, EVs; any of the cleantech.

  • JamesWimberley

    The report illustrates the typical reluctance of experts to believe in history. Navigant expect the growth rate to decline from 17% to 5% a year, even as the world economy picks up. But the gear continues to get cheaper an dmore efficient, and more countries have set up policy régimes that allow wind and solar to develop. On the other hand, very few have reached the German scale of renewable penetration where grid integration and dispatchable reserves have become immediate concerns and brakes on wond and solar. Navigant’s pessimism may be right, but I would still approach it sceptically.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I think what some are missing is that very many other countries are now installing a bit of wind generation. They’re getting their feet wet, trying out this new technology, seeing if it works for them.

      What we’re likely to see is not so much market expansion in “the same old countries” but also significant market expansion into new countries which are currently off radar.

      Same for solar.

      Developing nations are developing. They need energy. Wind and solar are going to be looked at and often adopted. If a country doesn’t have their own coal or natural gas supply then importing can be expensive. Better to install wind and solar along with just enough fossil fuel to make renewables work. (And some decent priced storage is likely to wipe out most of the fossil fuel need.)

      Developing nations also have a big need for transmission/grid development, whether they use fossil fuels or renewables. They won’t have the difficulty of Germany, the need to replace transmission which ends up in the wrong place because fossil fuel plants were built away from the best wind/solar sites. They’ll have the cost of building new transmission regardless of the source, they’ve nothing to abandon.

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