Fastest growth in wind power will happen in new markets

While many established markets are experiencing flat or single-digit growth rates, the average compound annual growth rate for 10 selected emerging wind energy markets in Africa and the former Soviet Union from 2013 to 2023 will be 21.9 percent, according to a report from Navigant Research.

Several factors, including austerity measures implemented in a number of European economies and boom-and-bust cycles in the U.S. caused by fluctuating policy on production tax credits, are combining to limit the growth of wind power markets across much of the developed world in the coming years. At the same time, demand for wind power in Africa and the former Soviet Union is growing.

“Amidst the slowdown in the established markets, the demand for wind power in certain emerging markets will make these regions critical to the global wind market,” says Feng Zhao, research director with Navigant Research. “The opportunities arising in these underserved regions will not only help reduce the exposure of wind turbine manufacturers to ups and downs in the mainstream wind power markets, but will also hold the key for current leading turbine suppliers to maintain their leadership in the future.”

Many of these countries are starting from installed bases near zero, but will experience rapid growth starting around 2015, according to the report. South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement program, which calls for 3,320 MW of wind power, has been attractive for foreign investors since its launch in December 2011.

In Russia, the world’s largest country by area, about two-thirds of the hinterland is beyond the reach of the centralized power grid, and wind provides the ideal solution for isolated communities that rely on expensive fuel for power generation.

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