Global Wind Power Growth Takes A Hit In New Five-Year Forecast

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Expectations for average annual global wind power growth have been lowered from 11% to 10% in the period from 2011 to 2016, according to MAKE Consulting's Q3 2011 Market Outlook Update.

The firm attributes this downgrade to economic uncertainty, regulatory change and tightened conditions for project financing – factors that will continue to plague global wind power growth for the next five years.

MAKE Consulting has downgraded the U.S.' 6% compound annual growth rate forecast to -1% (2011-2016), which is equal to a reduction of 8.2 GW during that period. This situation is mirrored in Europe, where Italy is struggling with limited project financing and regulatory uncertainty, while Portugal faces hurdles in licensing approval and permitting.

In the near to medium term, downgrades to the U.S. and European forecasts will be balanced out by an upsurge in grid connection of new capacity in China, the firm explains. This development is driven by the Chinese central administration's mandate for reducing the large amount of unconnected wind power capacity through stricter permitting and connection standards and procedures.

Unfortunately, the consequence of this, coupled with tightened conditions for project financing, will lead to a slowdown in new erected capacity, according to the report. Signs of this have already started to show, with new erected capacity in the first half of the year being significantly lower than last year. Moreover, the current demand dynamics in the Chinese market are expected to prevail in the near to medium term.

Even though the outlook for global offshore wind market growth has been downgraded, this segment will prove to be the industry's silver lining, with a promise of steady and continued future growth, MAKE Consulting adds.

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