Spain Expected to Lead European Wind Power Market Growth Over Next 5 Years

Spain is set to overtake Germany as Europe's leading wind power market in 2005 and continue to lead Europe through the rest of the decade, according to Emerging Energy Research. At the same time, markets in Italy, Portugal, and France are entering unprecedented boom phases.

Cambridge, MA, 29 November 2005 - Spain is set to overtake Germany as Europe's leading wind power market in 2005 and is expected to continue to lead Europe through the rest of the decade, according to new market forecast data released by Emerging Energy Research (EER), a Cambridge, MA-based research and advisory company. At the same time, embryonic markets in Italy, Portugal, and France are entering unprecedented boom phases.

Despite a temporary slowdown in 2005, Spain will see steady wind power growth through the end of the decade as it follows through on plans to reach 20,000 MW by 2010. Meanwhile, Germany continues to face market saturation, resulting in a steady decrease in onshore MW additions from 2005 to 2010, according to EER's European Wind Energy Country Forecast Data, released in November 2005.

"European wind's center of gravity is shifting from Germany to Spain, carrying with it plans for new manufacturing facilities, intense turbine supplier competition, and renewed opportunities for growth and consolidation among developers," says Keith Hays, EER's European Research Director.

Overall, wind power growth in Europe is set to slow in 2005-2006, according to EER forecasts, as a result of permitting and grid constraint issues. Europe will add 5,131 MW of wind power in 2005, reflecting an 11% reduction from 2004, but EER projects a 4% rise in wind power installations from 2007-2010, averaging over 6,000 MW added per year. Total European wind power capacity is expected to reach 39,618 MW by the end of 2005, up from 12,935 MW in 2000, and is projected to grow to 69,695 MW in 2010.

New wind power markets enter boom phases

A group of smaller wind power markets are entering major growth phases for the first time: Italy, France and Portugal are all seeing MW added increases of over 80% in 2005. In 2005, France is expected to install 250 MW of new wind power capacity, while Italy and Portugal are each expected to add 450 MW by year end.

"The boom in newer wind power markets can be attributed to stable production incentives, and increasing investment in larger portfolios by expanding European players, as countries aim to meet their 2010 MW installed targets," according Hays. "Many projects that are coming online now have been in permitting for 3-4 years. In these cases, policy, permitting, and investment have come together," says Hays.

UK Offshore sets precedent for Sweden and Germany

Offshore wind power will account for a growing portion of new capacity, representing over 20% of new wind capacity added in Europe by 2010. Overall, European offshore wind power is expected to grow from 689 MW in 2005 to 3,871 MW in 2010, according to EER forecasts.

The UK was the only market to connect an offshore project in 2005, the 90 MW project at Kentish Flats. The UK has five more offshore projects planned through 2008 but projects still lack permitting clarity and grid connection. However, utility project acquisitions in Sweden indicate a revived offshore market that will add 50-100 MW yearly by 2008-2009, according to EER. Across the Baltic Sea, Germany is expected to install a pilot project by 2008, and Ireland and the Netherlands will likely install individual projects.

"Sweden and Germany are looking towards the UK as a model for offshore but even in the UK, offshore has not completely taken off. Round two projects in the UK still face delays. Much of this delay has to do with increasing turbine prices and supplier hesitation to manage the risk associated with the complex execution of offshore projects," says Hays.


EER tracks wind energy market forecasts for Europe, North America and the Rest of the World as part of its Wind Energy Advisory services. Forecasts are based on historic and projected data (2000-2010) for wind energy markets at a country by country level, including offshore


Emerging Energy Research (EER) is an independent research and advisory company that provides pragmatic forward-thinking advice about new energy technologies, markets and strategies. Additional media resources are available at

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