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Contact: Jessica Maier, (202) 383-2500

New Installations Expected to Total 18,500 MW by 2005

Worldwide installed wind power capacity surged to over 5,000 MW during the first quarter of 1996, and this strong growth in international wind energy markets is expected to continue, according to official projections released today by the American Wind Energy Association, which referred to wind power as "the world's fastest growing electric power technology."

Total installed wind power capacity will reach over 18,500 MW by 2005, according to the projections, representing a market of over $18 billion. Over 1,300 MW of new wind energy capacity was installed around the world in 1995 alone, a 35% percent increase in capacity over 1994. However, an imbalance in the world market exists: while many markets flourished in 1995, some slowed drastically--particularly the U.S.

Germany and India accounted for almost two-thirds of all new installations last year-- nearly 900 MW. The U.S., on the other hand, lagged behind, adding only 41 MW of new wind capacity. In the last ten years, the U.S. share of total world wind energy capacity has dropped from about 90 percent to 30 percent. "The rest of the world is forging ahead with wind energy development and leaving the U.S. in the dust," said AWEA's executive director Randall Swisher. "The current and future competitiveness of the U.S. in global energy markets is at risk."

Stagnation in the U.S. market can be attributed to the pending restructuring of the electric utility industry, which has made utility power planners gun-shy of planning any new capacity additions. The outlook for U.S. growth is hopeful, though, if the industry is restructured in a way that is friendly to renewables. AWEA's projections predict that U.S. wind capacity additions will grow slowly until about 2000, and then increase over the next several years, totalling about 2,700 MW of new capacity by 2005.

"Utility restructuring has caused a short-term mentality among many power planners, making them hesitant of any new capacity additions," said Swisher. "This short-sighted outlook could unfairly disadvantage renewables when the industry is restructured. If the U.S. wants to retain its leadership role in world energy markets, strong policy encouraging renewables must exist." Some of the policies AWEA proposes to ensure U.S. competitiveness are:

AWEA's projections are based on publicly and privately held information on existing installations and planned capacity additions worldwide. The projections assume no significant political shifts that would cause an increase or decrease in national support for wind energy. They also assume only a moderate shift in fossil fuel prices and efficiency gains from combustion technologies, as well as moderate improvements in the cost of wind-generated power.

      Growth of Installed Wind Capacity in Selected Countries, 1995

Country		New capacity	Total installed		% growth,
		installed, 1995 capacity, 1995		  1995

India                383 MW          565 MW               210%

Spain                 73 MW          145 MW               100

Germany              498 MW         1136 MW                77

Holland              106 MW          259 MW                69

United Kingdom        46 MW          193 MW                31

China                  7 MW           36 MW                23

Denmark               75 MW          614 MW                14

United States         41 MW         1770 MW                 2.4

                     Projected Additions Through 2005

           1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005    Total

U.S.         30  150  200  150  200  300  300  400  500  500     2730

India       400  300  300  250  250  200  200  200  200  200     2500

China        50   50   50  100  150  150  150  200  200  200     1300

Germany     300  200  100  100  100  100  100  100  100  100     1300

Spain       100  125  150  150  200  150  100  100  100  100     1275


AWEA, formed in 1974, is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. AWEA's membership of over 800 includes turbine and component manufacturers, project developers, utilities, academicians, and interested individuals from 49 states.

A detailed description of the Renewables Portfolio Standard is available from AWEA on the World Wide Web at

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