12 November 2003 – The German wind power market is expected to continue to grow over the next few years, with the aid of continuing strong government support, according to a report published Tuesday by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.
“Nevertheless, Standard & Poor’s regards the government target for 20 per cent of all electricity to be produced from renewable energy sources by 2020 as ambitious, as it depends partly on the development of offshore wind farms that are not yet sufficiently tested as a commercial model,” said Standard & Poor’s ratings analyst Ralf Etzelmueller.
German government support for wind power as an environment-friendly source of electricity has already brought a rapid growth in installed capacity over the past few years. Germany now has the largest share of the European wind power market (51 per cent), and wind power capacity has increased to 13 407 MW in 2003 from just 2082 MW in 1997.
The report, entitled “Government Support Breathes Winds of Change Through German Wind Power Industry” examines the current regulatory framework for wind power projects in Germany and the possible effects of future amendments to renewable energy regulations.
S & P has also published a report into the Danish wind power market in which it says that Denmark remains one of Europe’s leaders in the development and use of wind-powered electricity generation. Wind-power generation has long been supported in Denmark by a number of key factors.
“The growth of wind power in Denmark has been underpinned by strong political support; the mandatory purchase of wind power output by utilities; supportive pricing; stable collaboration between the utilities and the government; and supportive planning procedures,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Jan Willem Plantagie. Growth of this sector has also been encouraged by incentives such as capital subsidies for privately owned wind turbines and R&D support for larger utilities. In 2002, wind-powered generation met about 18 per cent of Denmark’s electricity consumption.
However, the political climate in Denmark appears to have altered recently.
“The tariff regime for newly built wind power capacity is now less supportive than it has been in the past, which might impact further growth of this sector in Denmark,” added Mr. Plantagie.
Nevertheless, the renewable energy sector remains protected, following the full opening of Denmark’s electricity market for competition in 2003.