Surging demand from Asia could help the global market for wind power more than quadruple in size by 2030, turbine maker Siemens has predicted.
Markus Tacke, chief executive of the German group’s wind power division, said installed capacity around the world is set to grow to 1,107 gigawatts in 2030, from 273 GW last year.
The forecast came as Norway’s oil and energy ministry granted licences to build eight onshore wind farms, with a combined capacity of 1.3 GW, as the country seeks to generate 67.5 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
However, Tacke said the market is poised to shift “significantly” away from Europe, with the Asia Pacific region accounting for more than 47 per cent of the market by 2030, up from 34 per cent currently.
According to a recent report from consulting firm GlobalData, China has doubled its wind capacity every year between 2006 and 2011, although that pace of growth is expected to slow because of poor infrastructure and “low quality” turbines.
Europe and the Middle East is the world’s largest wind market, with a 40 per cent share, although Tacke said that will decline to 34 per cent by 2030.
Norway gets most of electricity from hydro power plants and has 775 megawatts of installed wind capacity, far less than the 3.6 GW in neighbouring Sweden, even though it enjoys stronger winds blowing from the Atlantic. Red tape and a lack of power lines, along with higher costs, have been blamed for the slower development of wind energy in the country.
Investment in the new farms, which will have about 450 turbines, could reach more than £2 billion and the first electricity from the site, around the city of Trondheim, could be generated in five years’ time.