Environmental Engineering Reference
number one in the wind energy market in 1990s. As a result, Germany developed
an internationally successful wind energy industry, with a turnover of 7.6 billion
euros in 2007 and an export quota of over 83%.
Whereas the number of new wind farms in Denmark has dropped to almost zero in
recent years, expansion in Germany is continuing. Germany, the USA, China and
Spain are the key wind energy markets today. In Spain a legal system of feed-in-
tariffs similar to that in Germany is ensuring continued expansion. The wind energy
market in the USA is driven by tax write-offs and quotas for renewable energies.
Due to changing conditions in the past few years, the market there has been very
up and down.
India has also developed a steady wind energy market and, consequently, a fl ourish-
ing wind energy industry. The Indian Suzlon Group is one of the biggest wind
turbine manufacturers in the world. Numerous other countries have started to
develop wind energy use during the last few years, and, as a result, high annual
growth rates are anticipated in the wind energy sector (Figure 8.20).
American Wind Energy Association
European Wind Energy Association
Global Wind Energy Council
8.8 Outlook and Development Potential
Whereas only very few countries were players in the wind boom of the 1990s, many
more have started to rely on wind energy in the meantime. Even today at good sites
wind energy is able to compete with conventional fossil power plants. In contrast
with the fl uctuating prices for coal, natural gas and crude oil, the production costs
for a wind turbine once it has been erected are quite constant. It is therefore antici-
pated that the high growth rates for wind power will be sustained worldwide.
Germany can be viewed as a prime example of a country that has fully exploited
the potential of its wind energy. On the other hand, its market has been shrinking
since 2002 (Figure 8.21). The reason is that the best inland sites have already been
developed. Presumably wind turbines will be standing on all economically feasible
and legally viable sites by 2015. As wind turbines have a service life of about 20
years, Germany is successively developing a new market segment: repowering.
With repowering, new more effi cient installations replace older and no longer viable
smaller wind turbines. As a result, the installable wind energy output is increased
on land. The total potential is a minimum of 30 000 megawatts. These installations
could produce around 60 billion kilowatt hours per year, which equates to about
10% of current electricity demand.
Germany is beginning to develop offshore sites, a process that is expected to reach
its peak in about 2020. Around 30 000 megawatts could be installed in the offshore
areas by 2030. Due to the higher wind supply offshore, these installations would