After several years of slowdown, the wind energy market has been given a kick-start, according to a recent report published by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).
GWEC estimates that by the end of 2014 installed wind power capacity will be 47 gigawatts, a number that could double in 2018. The potential of the sector was confirmed in the United Kingdom, where thanks to strong autumn winds, wind energy production exceeded that of nuclear power three times in the last two months. It only lasted for a few minutes, but the news quickly travelled the world.
Wind power offers a great opportunity for the energy industry: as an established green energy source it can help the fight against climate change, and it has a key role in developing the electricity market in a number of countries. According to GWEC, in the next few years the wind power market will grow in China, the United States and emerging economies, which are heavily investing in the construction of new plants.
The Group's green energy subsidiary Enel Green Power is ready to make the most of the opportunities offered in the current environment, as can be seen by the operations it has launched in recent months. In the Mexican State of San Luis Potosì, it invested $196 million in wind farm Dominica I, which is made up of 50 turbines and has a total installed capacity of 100 megawatts. To support the operation EGP, through its subsidiary Energia Limpia Dominica, signed a $104 million loan agreement with Banco Santander.
In the USA, in November, EGP North America completed construction of its new Origin wind farm in Oklahoma, which has a total installed capacity of 150MW, while in September it began construction of the new Talinay Poniente wind farm in Chile, which will be composed of 32 wind turbines and have an installed capacity of 61MW. EGP has also grid-connected the 10MW Upington plant in South Africa, and on 1 December EGP was awarded the right to power supply contracts in Brazil with power produced by a new 114MW wind farm.
EGP wants to make global its technological expertise and innovations, such as short- to medium-term electricity production forecasting models for wind farms and the two-bladed turbine, which can be used even at very low wind speeds.