Wind Energy and other renewable energy sources in Romania

The wind energy sector situation worldwide

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Wind energy

Global wind power installations increased by 44,711 MW in 2012, bringing the total installed capacity up to 282,482 MW, a 18.7% increase on the 238,035 MW installed at the end of 2011. Wind power has now established itself as a mainstream electricity generation source, and plays a central role in an increasing number of countries’ immediate and longer-term energy plans. After 15 years of average cumulative growth rates, the commercial wind power installations in about 80 countries at the end of last year reached to the 240 GW level.


Twenty-two countries have more than 1,000 MW installed. Romania is one of those countries. Demand growth is very slow, nonexistent or negative so demand for new power generation of any kind is slim, and the competition is fierce. Brazil, India, Canada and Mexico are very dynamic markets, but cannot make up for the lack of growth in the traditional markets in Europe, the US and China. There are many exciting new markets in Latin America, Africa, and Asia where there is major potential for growth.


According to the Global Wind Energy Council, the wind energy sector has continued its expansion worldwide in 2012. The annual market growth has reached almost 10% while the cumulative capacity growth is now at 19%. The development in this sector was particularly visible in the US while in China the market was slower than last year. The US Production Tax Credit was anticipated to expire which led to a last minute rush, more than 8,000 MW being installed in the fourth quarter of 2012 bringing the total for 2012 to 13,124 MW. In China on the other hand, due to the market consolidation and rationalization, the annual installations reached 13.1 GW making 2012 a slower year for the wind sector.


In Europe, Germany and UK are leading the market. Romania, Italy, Poland, and Sweden are the emerging markets that brought a surprising contribution last year. Europe has set a new record of 12.4 GW for 2012 due to all the developments in these areas.

Other regions that showed a remarkable expansion in 2012 are Brazil with 1,077 MW and Australia, which accounted for 359 MW of the new capacity in the Pacific region. In the Middle East and North African region, only Tunisia completed a 50 MW project but the first sub-Saharan commercial wind farm came on line in Ethiopia, marking a promising future for the area. Africa is expected to become a competitive market in the next years because the generation of green energy has become a priority for the economic development.


This year, China’s total attainable capacity amounts to 75.6 GW, which constitutes 26.8% of global resources. In second place after China is the United States with 60 GW and a 21.2 % share in global capacity. Germany ranks third with 31.3 GW and an 11.1% share.


According to the GWEC, in 2012 China recorded a substantial growth again, but this year considerably lower than in 2011, when they reached 17,630 MW, adding a further 13,200 MW of new wind capacity and imposing itself again as the world’s leading wind market with a total of 75,564 MW of installed capacity by the end of the year.


The global annual installed wind capacity increased by 10% in 2012 compared with 2011, continuing last year’s upward trend. However, the global installation of new wind capacity has slowed over the last three years following its largest ever annual increase in 2009, from 26.5 GW to 38.6 GW, representing a rate of growth of just over 45%.


The figures in the previous tables are affected by project decommissioning of approximately 316 MW.


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