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ANALYSISRENEWABLES


Sunny future


While wind turbines continue to drive the majority of current renewable energy sector project logistics business, other forms of power generation in this category are also beginning to attract greater interest from freight transport operators and forwarders. Phil Hastings reports.


ecent potentially significant developments in the renewable energy sector include news that wave and tidal energy is poised to progress to the installation of the first arrays (see page 80) and the emergence of plans for more large-scale solar panel parks. There are also reports of increased demand for biomass power generation plants.


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The prospect of a wider range of renewable energy projects over the next few years comes at a good time for heavy lift transport operators and forwarders, many of which are now being confronted with a slowdown in the pace of wind farm


www.heavyliftpfi.com


development and a slide in the freight rates for handling that business.


Confirmation that the global wind energy sector is likely to grow more slowly over the next few years than previously anticipated in some quarters appeared in the latest annual BTM Consult wind report released earlier in 2013 by US based Navigant Research.


Slower wind growth


That report, International Wind Energy Development: World Market Update 2012, reveals that for the second consecutive year, a reduction in market growth is forecast for


the five years through to 2017. Specifically, it suggests 241,620 MW of wind energy generation will be added worldwide during that period, “10 percent less than the forecast made in 2011”.


“The lowering of the forecast growth rate is mainly due to a projected slowdown in wind turbine sales in 2013 and 2015. The average growth rate for new installations from 2013 to 2017 is expected to be 5.1 percent, with a decrease of more than 10 percent in 2013 compared with 2012,” predicts the report.


It says that a decrease will be reflected in the US market this year “as a result of 2012’s last­minute one-year extension of the federal production tax credit (PTC)”. It added: “The US market will likely face additional political uncertainty when the PTC expires after 2013.”


The report goes on to state that established European wind power markets, such as Spain and Italy, are expected to see growth decline in coming years, “while


July/August 2013 63


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