BTM Market Forecast

Windpower Monthly, the wind industry bible, reported on the BTM Consult annual update and forecast on the wind market worldwide.   It is most encouraging.

I remember seeing a presentation by BTM at the Vancouver CanWEA conference in 2000, my first wind conference.  I found it inspiring then.  It is even more inspiring today.

The worldwide market grew by 19.8 GW, increasing the installed capacity by 27%, to 94 GW.  Wind is estimated to account for 1% of worldwide electricity production in 2007.  By 2012, BTM forecasts that installed capacity will grow to 288 GW, and will account for 2.7% of worldwide electricity production  The wind industry sales will be $111 billion by 2012.  And by 2017, wind capacity will grow to 691 GW.

BTM is notorious for forecasting less than is actually delivered.  I am not sure if there has ever been a year that didn’t exceed their forecast.  So that means their forecast has a high likelihood of being achieved, or even exceeded.  Tripling wind’s share of worldwide energy supply in 5 years would be no small feat.  They analyze the industry’s ability to deliver, and do a bottom up analysis by region, reviewing policies, momentum, competition in each region to determine their forecast.

2.7% of world electricity supply might not seem like much.  But the other sources of power – coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydraulic – have been around for years.  They have had decades to get the government policies right for their technology.  Wind has had perhaps a decade, and things are only now starting to click in nations around the world.

The key drivers of the business today are China’s rapid development of wind energy, the desire of more and more nations for energy security, and of course, low emissions.

Wind is emerging as a core supplier of electricity, which is something new for the industry, especially in Canada.  When policy makers catch up with what those of us in the wind industry know, the sky is literally the limit.

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