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ANALYSISRENEWABLES


headquartered in Esbjerg, Denmark, added: “Here in Esbjerg, we are currently seeing the same level of wind turbine projects as last year. But when we look around the rest of the world, especially in the UK, for example, there is less business than originally expected. In Continental Europe, there have been delays with some projects.” However, while the pace of global wind power development has slowed, it remains a growing market. According to the Navigant BTM report, new installations with a total generating capacity of 44,951 MW were added worldwide in 2012, with the USA surpassing China as the largest individual country market for such projects. Overall, continues the report, world wind power capacity has grown to around 285,700 MW, “an increase in the total wind power installation base of 18.6 percent”. “Market growth year­over­year in 2012, though a modest 7.8 percent, was still higher than in 2011. Average annual growth for the past five years has been 17.8 percent, achieved during the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, with traditionally large markets for wind power in economic recession in America and Europe.” Susan St Germain, executive director of


Weiss-Röhlig moves a wind generation turbine.


projects for TransProject, a US based project forwarder with extensive experience in the wind turbine project logistics sector, agreed that the current global picture for that market is mixed.


Wind markets


“Wind is an expensive product compared with some of the other renewable energy options like solar,” she commented. “But if you take Saudi Arabia, for example, the government


there is looking at wind because they would much prefer to sell their oil to generate revenue. So there are still some areas of the world where wind power makes sense.” Operationally, agree industry sources, the biggest current challenge for project forwarders and heavy lift carriers is how to transport ever larger turbines. “We are now being asked to handle blades of 70-plus m compared with 40-50 m five years ago,” commented Blue Water Shipping’s Kjærgaard, “and the units are getting heavier”.


66


July/August 2013


www.heavyliftpfi.com


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