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Repowering boosts wind industry

Installed wind capacity is set to increase as wind power markets are expected to witness large growth in multiple regions, including repowering schemes, according to market intelligence specialists GlobalData.

 By Kari Williamson

The wind power industry has already made a strong recovery from the financial crisis in 2011, helped by the extensive work demanded by sites due for repowering maintenance.

The historic pattern of wind power installations predicts a surge in the repowering industry within the next five years, and the market is anticipated to experience a whirlwind of activity, GlobalData says.

The global wind repowering market in 2011 was primarily dominated by Denmark, Germany, the US and India. Denmark was the largest wind repowered market with an estimated 213.1 MW, accounting for around 51.6% of the total global repowered capacity. Germany, the second largest wind repowered market in 2011 forms around 43.1% of the global repowered capacity.

Recovery from the crisis

While global installed wind energy capacity increased dramatically during 2006-2009, the global recession sparked a 13.8% fall in annual additions during 2010, when major wind markets, including the US, Germany and Spain, faced economic struggles as a result of the global recession.

These markets are soon expected to recover thanks to a huge order intake by major wind manufacturers across emerging regions, the analyst says.

Wind power manufacturers worldwide received a high order intake in 2010, with expected delivery deadlines in 2011 and 2012, contributing to the large total of annual installations expected this year.

According to GlobalData, the value of the global wind repowering market has increased significantly during the last five years.

50 GW of repowering by 2020

In 2005, wind sites were repowered to an estimated cumulative capacity of 877 MW. Since, the cumulative installed capacity has risen to nearly 2.5 GW.

Still, this explored capacity represents only around 17% of the total global wind repowering potential, which is estimated to exceed 50 GW by 2020.

In 2011, wind farms producing around 182.6 GWh of power were replaced with turbines capable of generating 773.7 GWh of power.

In 2020, the repowered wind farms are expected to increase their power generation from 1.5 GW to 8.2 GWh due to the higher capacity and efficiency of the new turbines.

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