EU wind power target "should be increased"

Turbine installation still outstripping expectations, says industry association chief

The pace of the European wind energy industry's growth remains so fast that existing targets for the next twenty years should be upgraded for the third time in a decade, according to acting chief executive of the European Wind Energy Association (Ewea), Arthouros Zervos.

Writing in the latest edition of Ewea magazine Wind Directions, Mr Zervos forecasts a continued increase in new turbine installation in the EU, though at a lower rate than currently. Based on this scenario, he suggests that wind power will increase its contribution to EU electricity production from 1% in 2000 to 2.6% in 2005, 4.4% in 2010 and 10% in 2020. Wind should be able to satisfy nearly 58% of new net generation capacity in the EU over the period 2010-2020, he predicts.

Current EWEA targets for EU installed wind power capacity are 8 gigawatts (GW) in 2000, 20 GW in 2005, 40 GW in 2010 and 100 GW in 2020. The 2010 target is the same as, and is based on, a European Commission target set in its 1997 renewable energy white paper (ENDS Daily 21 November 1997). The 2000 target having already been exceeded (ENDS Daily 25 January), Mr Zervos now suggests increasing all three of the remaining targets by around 50%, to 33 GW in 2005, 60 GW in 2010 and 150 GW in 2020.

Europe's wind industry has been consistently caught out by its own rapid growth over the last decade. In 1991, Ewea set a target of 4 GW by 2000 and 100 GW by 2030. In 1998 it increased these to the levels now being questioned by Mr Zervos. According to industry data, the actual installed capacity in Europe at the end of 1999 was over 9.5 GW, Mr Zervos noted.

Follow Up:
Ewea, tel: +32 2 546 1940.

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