Germany: powering ahead
While the spotlight tends to fall on the German PV sector, there's no doubt that the country's wind industry is one of the most enviable in Europe. Granted, there are some national concerns that need to be addressed, but both the country's domestic market and export record show remarkable signs of life. PES investigates.
As galling as it may be for their Danish counterparts, German producers lead European offshore wind growth. Siemens is the most influential German wind turbine manufacturer, by far. It accounted for 74 per cent of the continent's offshore wind turbines in the past six months. Siemens, REpower, and Bard were the only companies to connect wind turbines offshore in Europe in that time (REpower installed a little less than a quarter of them (22 per cent). Bard, in third place, installed 4 per cent of them.)
These wind companies were most active in the United Kingdom, where they installed 422 MW worth of wind turbines (114 turbines), according to EWEA (European Wind Energy Association).
And just as PES was going to print, REpower had just signed contracts to supply turbines for three onshore wind farms in Scotland. The company will build five turbines for Wathegar Wind Farm in Caithness, and it will also produce a total of 10 turbines for International Power's Blantyre Muir Wind Farm in South Lanarkshire and Barlockhart Moor near Glenluce in Dumfries and Galloway.
Together the turbines can supply enough power for more than 17,000 homes.
These are examples of yet more massive contracts for the company. Since its launch in 2004, Repower UK has delivered 39 onshore wind farms in Scotland, England and Wales and two offshore wind farms - Project Beatrice in the North Sea and Ormonde wind farm in the Irish Sea. As Chief Executive Andreas Nauen said: "Reaching 1GW of signed contracts is a huge achievement for us.
In Europe, the total amount of wind power generation capacity installed was 50 per cent more than it was at the same time last year, and as Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive of the EWEA, said: "Offshore wind power in particular, is increasingly attracting investors, including pension funds and other institutional and corporate investors, but it would be good to see more activity in southern Europe, where jobs, investments and growth are desperately needed."