Survey of Energy Resources Interim Update 2009
SER 2007 version >Wind Energy Country Notes update
At the beginning of 2007 the strategic wind energy target for 2010 set by the Energy Bureau of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) was revised upwards to 8 GW. Already by year-end Chinese installed capacity had reached 5 905 MW, more than doubling end-2006 capacity. It is estimated that by end-2008 capacity had reached some 12.2 GW, thus exceeding the planned target and being well on the way to meeting the planned 2020 figure of 30 000 MW.
The regions with the highest wind resource do not always have the highest concentration of population, and furthermore transmission lines in these areas are often in short supply. Although the achievement of installed capacity has been great, it has been reported that at the present time there is a discrepancy between the theoretically possible generation and what can actually be achieved.
In late 2007, the country's first offshore wind power plant came into operation. The 1.5 MW plant is installed on the Bohai Suizhong 36-1 oil platform belonging to the China National Offshore Oil Corporation.
The near-doubling of installed wind capacity witnessed during 2005 was repeated during 2006. By end-2007 capacity in metropolitan France had reached 2 200 MW, demonstrating further strong growth, albeit at a lower rate than in earlier years.
L'Association France Energie Eolienne (FEE), representing the wind sector of the Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables, reports that, with the exception of five regions, wind installations are distributed throughout the country.
At the present time wind satisfies approximately 15% of electricity supply in the regions of Centre, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine and Picardie, but by 2010 it is expected that this percentage will have risen to 40% in Picardie and Champagne-Ardenne.
The objective of the Grenelle de l'environnement (public meetings involving stakeholders in the environment field) relating to wind energy foresees that by 2020 it will supply 25 GW, of which 6 GW will be offshore. It is estimated that of the order of 55 TWh will be produced from wind energy, some 10% of national electricity consumption.
In 2005 the scheme for approximately 100 Zones de Développement Eolien (ZDE) was initiated, with the aim of assisting local communities to develop wind installations, whilst preserving their heritage. ZDEs permit the installations to benefit from the right to have the electricity they produce purchased at a fixed price.
In July 2008 EDF announced that one of France's largest wind farms was under construction in the first ZDE. The 50.6 MW Villesèque-des-Corbières (Aude Department) plant consists of 22 x 2.3 MW units. During the year EDF also commissioned the 52 MW Chemin d'Ablis plant (Eure-et-Loir Department) and in December announced that the 87 MW Salles-Curan plant had entered service in the Aveyron Department.
Up to end-2007 Germany was world leader in installed wind capacity. During 2007, 19 460 turbines with a total capacity of 22 247 MW generated 39.5 TWh, representing some 7% of the electricity consumption. By end-2008 the German Wind Energy Institute was reporting that the number of turbines had risen to 20 301, with a capacity of 23 902 MW.
In 2008 the state of Brandenburg led the way with 408 MW new installations followed by Niedersachsen with 384 MW and Sachsen-Anhalt with 227 MW. However, Niedersachsen led the ranking of total installed capacity - 6 028 MW - some 60% higher than Brandenburg, and is progressing towards its target of 10 000 MW by 2020.
The states of Sachsen-Anhalt, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein obtained around 40% of their net electricity consumption from wind during 2008.
Offshore capacity remains somewhat limited for reasons of nature conservancy. However, current projections see about 500 MW by 2010 and about 3 000 MW by 2015.
The strong growth in German wind power installations seen in recent years has been due to governmental legislation and this is likely to continue with the new German Renewable Energy Sources Act which came into force on 1 January 2009. The Act replaces the 2004 Act and, although the basic structure has been maintained, the share of renewable energy in electricity generation has been further increased. The re-powering arrangements have been made more attractive; there are improved conditions for offshore installations and an improved grid integration structure for generating electricity from renewable energy, including provisions on feed-in management. Thus growth during 2009 is expected, despite the current global financial situation.
In addition to 10 000 MW of potential new capacity build, it has been estimated that re-powering could bring the total installed onshore wind capacity up to some 45 000 MW by 2020. This would be achieved with significantly fewer turbines and furthermore, the energy yield could be tripled. However, to date building restrictions have resulted in only a limited amount of re-powering.
There is also a need for the grid to be expanded, with new transmission lines and underground cabling where necessary. The overall grid transport capacity could be much improved by the introduction of temperature monitoring of short and medium length overhead lines.
As raw material costs have risen greatly in recent years, the targets set will only be met if favourable tariffs are implemented as part of the new Act. The new tariff for onshore wind has been set at € 0.092/kWh and, for new installations, will decrease every year by 1%. For re-powering projects, the tariff has been increased by € 0.005/kWh, with the restrictions that the turbines are required to be located in the same administrative district and be at least 10 years old, and the new ones need to have at least twice (but not more than five times) the original capacity. Offshore wind turbines will attract remuneration of € 0.15/kWh until 2015, after which it will fall to € 0.13/kWh for new turbines, decreasing by 5% per annum.
It was announced in November 2008 that the first German offshore wind farm, the Alpha Ventus plant, will consist of 12 x 5 MW turbines and will be located in an area of four square kilometres, approximately 45 km to the north of Borkum in the German Bight. The joint venture project is between E.ON Climate & Renewables GmbH, EWE AG and Vattenfall Europe New Energy GmbH. Initial offshore work began during summer 2008. It is expected that installation of the first 6 turbines will begin in April 2009, followed by the remaining 6 turbines in July 2009.
At end-2007 India had installed grid-connected wind capacity of 7 844 MW and retained its 4th position in the world ranking, behind Germany, USA and Spain. Additionally, there were 1 284 rural and decentralised wind pumps. By end-September 2008, capacity had risen to 9 522 MW, spread across 10 states. However, 90% is located in just four states, of which Tamil Nadu, at 43%, has the largest share. The number of wind pumps had grown to 1 342.
The 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012) states that a further 10 500 MW of grid-connected wind capacity is anticipated during the period covered. By the end of the 11th Plan it is foreseen that some 17 500 MW will have been installed. However, the target of 1 500 MW during the 10th Five Year Plan was exceeded by a factor of 3.6, so it is possible that the 11th Five Year Plan will also be exceeded.
Although India possesses a coastline in excess of 7 500 km, research has shown that the wind resource at the majority of the 54 locations studied is not sufficient for offshore wind turbines. The one area that does have promising potential is the southern tip of the sub-continent, from Kanyakumari, northeast to Rameshwaram. Further investigation and data collection are required in order to establish the feasibility of establishing a demonstration offshore wind farm.
The target for wind energy as stated in the Italian White Paper for the period 2008-2012 (2 500 MW) had already been met during 2007. By year-end installed capacity stood at 2 726 MW with 4.1 TWh electricity generated. Of the total, the Puglia region accounted for one quarter of capacity, followed by Sicily, Campania and Sardinia.
The Italian Wind Energy Association (ANEV) reports that the current target for installed capacity by end-2020 is 16 200 MW, with generation of 27.2 TWh.
Between end-2006 and end-2007 Spain added just over 3 500 MW to its installed wind capacity, bringing the total to 15 145 MW. A total of 16 103 turbines were distributed over 672 wind farms.
By end-2008, a lower but still impressive 1 609 MW had been added, bringing the total to 16 740 MW. In terms of capacity Spain ranks second within Europe and third in the world (behind Germany and the USA).
The 30% increase in 2007 was largely because the level of government subsidies was lowered in 2008. A Royal Decree (RD 661 of 25 May 2007) specified that wind farms coming into operation before 1 January 2008 could choose to receive (until end-2012) the more favourable level of subsidy previously in force.
All but two of Spain's 17 regions have installed wind power. Cantabria added capacity for the first time in 2007 and Extremadura is expected to begin harnessing its wind resource during 2009. During 2008 the region of Castilla y León saw the largest absolute increase of 519 MW but it was the Comunidad Valenciana where capacity rose by the largest percentage increase (28%), to reach 710 MW. Three regions (Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León and Galicia) now all have in excess of 3 000 MW.
The current level of Spanish wind capacity is likely to ensure that the target of 20 155 MW by end-2010 set by the Spanish Renewable Energy Plan (PER) 2005-2010 will be met. It will only be necessary to install 1 700 MW per annum during the remaining two years, a figure that the wind industry foresees as achievable. The Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) has set its own target of 40 000 MW wind capacity by 2020 which would meet the EU objective of 20% of final energy consumption.
Generation during 2007 rose by 18% over 2006, to 27 026 GWh, well on the way to making the PER target of 40 996 GWh in 2010 achievable.
Royal Decree 1028/2007 established the process necessary for the authorisation of offshore wind turbines, with the further Royal Decree 1029/2007 requiring that environmental studies be undertaken to establish the suitability of an offshore site.
Spain's offshore wind potential has been estimated to be in the region of 4 GW, which is targeted for exploitation by 2020. Experimental installations of 10 MW will be permitted but full-scale farms will have a minimum capacity of 50 MW. At the present time the first offshore wind farm is expected to be established in around 2014.
By end-2007 installed capacity in the UK stood at 2 477 MW, of which 2 083 MW was onshore and 394 MW offshore. In October 2008, the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) was estimating that capacity had risen to 3 156 MW, of which 2 590 MW was onshore and 566 MW offshore. Turbines are distributed throughout the United Kingdom but Scotland contributes approximately half of the installed capacity. Wind-generated electricity in 2007 rose by 25% over the previous year to 5 274 GWh.
The Government's target of 10% of electricity to come from renewable energy by 2010 translates into 6 GW of wind energy. The planning process for approving wind projects can be difficult in the UK, but by late 2008 some 800 MW onshore and 800 MW offshore capacity was under construction and, additionally, 3.2 GW onshore and 1 GW offshore capacity had been consented. However, it is likely that not all of the consented projects will be operational by 2010.
A new official target of 15% of all energy to be powered from renewable energy translates into the country generating 35% of its electricity by 2020. For this to be achieved it will be necessary to remove the blocks in the planning system, so that the 33 GW of wind power required to be consented can be put in place. The Planning Act 2008, which built on the objectives set out in the Planning White Paper of May 2007, now ensures that the approval process for new capacity will be conducted more speedily and smoothly. The planning process in Scotland comes under the jurisdiction of the Scottish Executive but after review in 2006 it also now ensures a degree of expeditiousness.
The London Array, a 341-turbine offshore project developed by partners E.ON and Dong Energy (originally also with Shell Wind Energy, which later withdrew) was granted planning permission at the end of 2006. Permission for an onshore substation to feed the electricity generated to the national grid followed in August 2007. The wind farm will be located more than 20 km off the Kent and Essex coastlines in the outer Thames Estuary. When complete an average of 3.1 TWh per annum will be generated, sufficient for 0.75 million homes. Construction of the onshore components is estimated to begin during June 2009. Full operation is scheduled for 2013.
United States of America
The rapid rise in U.S. installed wind capacity between 2000 and 2005 continued through 2006, but the following two years saw unprecedented growth: an increase of 45% during 2007 and a further increase of 50% in 2008. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) quotes that 8 358 MW were installed during 2008 bringing the end-year capacity to 25 170 MW.
Thirty five states have wind power capability, with the top five totalling 15 550 MW. Texas tops the list with 7 116 MW, followed by Iowa with 2 790 MW; California, 2 517 MW; Minnesota, 1 752 MW and Washington, 1 375 MW. At the present time there are no offshore wind turbines.
Three factors have helped in the expansion of the US wind sector:
The Wind Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) of US$ 0.021/kWh for the production of electricity from utility-scale turbines has been particularly important. The credit was due to expire at end-2008 but in October Congress extended it to end-2009.
The Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) adopted by 26 States and the District of Columbia. RPS policies can be adopted at both Federal and State level and use market mechanisms to ensure that renewable energy is increasingly used for the production of electricity.
The Small Wind Systems Tax Credit provides a federal tax credit for purchasers of wind turbines for home, farm or business use.
Following the 2006 Advanced Energy Initiative, which suggested that areas of good wind resources had the potential to supply up to 20% of electricity consumption, the report, 20% Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy's Contribution to US Electricity Supply, was published in 2007. A collaborative effort by the U.S. Government and industry, it contained one scenario examining the challenges associated with achieving the 20% goal, whilst another looked at no further increase in wind capacity. The report concluded that the U.S. had wind potential far in excess of that needed for the 20% goal to become a reality. However, to be implemented it would be necessary to overcome the challenges that were identified and for approximately 16 GW to be installed each year from 2018 onwards, bringing the total to more than 300 GW by 2030. The discussion continues.