The wind energy market has expanded rapidly
Onshore wind is the second largest renewable energy technology by installed capacity. Onshore wind energy is being deployed at a rapid pace in many countries, and in some regions with good wind resources the cost of wind energy is already competitive with market prices. However, policy measures are still required in most countries to ensure the rapid deployment of new capacity.
The wind energy market has expanded rapidly, from 14 GW at the end of 1999 and it is expected that the industry will continue to install between 40 GW and 60 GW of new capacity each year for the foreseeable future. In addition, as capacity installed in the 1990s and in the first part of the last decade starts to age and to become technologically obsolete, there is potential for redeveloping such sites with improved technology able to capture more power and make better use of available resource.
In certain countries, such as Denmark, Portugal, Spain and Ireland, onshore wind has already achieved high levels of penetration, representing more than 10% of the annual power generated in the system. This demonstrates that wind energy can be successfully integrated into existing grid systems.
Wind turbine costs dropped by 15% between 2009 and 2011, and the pricing environment is forecast to remain very competitive. Continued advances in wind energy technology are expected, further reducing the cost of wind energy, along with reductions in the levelised cost of onshore wind energy of 10% to 30% by 2020.
An Infinis wind farm in the UK