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Wind power continues to grow in 2004 in the EU, but faces constraints of grid and administrative barriers


Industry statistics released today for the EU wind energy market show that cumulative wind power capacity increased by 20% to 34,205MW at the end of 2004, up from 28,568 MW at the end of 2003. 5,703 MW of wind power capacity were installed last year, representing a wind turbine manufacturing turnover of some €5.7 billion.

“The European market for wind energy has experienced average annual growth rates of 22% over the past six years; however, the further rapid progress that the industry is capable of delivering is constrained by barriers such as grid access and administrative hurdles”, said Corin Millais, EWEA Chief Executive. “Whilst the market for wind energy in most European countries is still largely undeveloped, two countries (Italy and the Netherlands) passed the 1,000 MW threshold in 2004, indicating that important new European markets are emerging.

Climate change has been prioritised in the G8 by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. At the Davos World Economic Forum yesterday he said that “we need to work much harder to find ways to implement the vast range of low-carbon technologies that have already been developed”. Earlier this week, a high level task force concluded that G8 Governments should “generate at least 25% of electricity from renewables energy sources by 2025”.

"Renewed political initiatives by the G8 could boost wind power; the industry is well positioned and ready for a more rapid roll out given the right political signals", said Millais.

The top five European wind energy markets in 2004 were Spain (2065MW), Germany (2037MW),UK (240MW), Portugal (224) and Italy (221).

In 2003, 5477MW were installed in Europe, and the wind power market increased by 4% in 2004, to 5703MW.

The future growth prospects of European wind power is reliant on creating sustained markets in other European countries on a scale similar to those in Germany and Spain (3), with a cumulative wind energy capacity of 16,629MW and 8,263MW respectively at the end 2004.

The 34,205MW installed in the EU by the end of 2004 will, in an average wind year, produce some 73 TWh of electricity.

EWEA is now WindEurope

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