Global Wind Installations May Double in 5 Years, Vestas CEO Says

  • Decline in costs helping wind compete with fossil-fuel power
  • Record growth in 2014 points to `bright future,' Runevad says

Cumulative wind-energy installations worldwide may double within five years as falling costs help producers compete with conventional power, according to the industry’s biggest manufacturer.

Last year’s “impressive” growth in new installations -- 46 percent more than in 2013 according to the Global Wind Energy Council -- points to a “bright future,” Vestas Wind Systems A/S Chief Executive Officer Anders Runevad said Monday.

The industry has expanded after the cost of wind farms dropped, making them competitive with fossil fuels in markets such as the U.K. and Germany. By the end of last year, wind developers had installed a cumulative total of about 370 gigawatts worldwide, according to GWEC.

Vestas seeks to “constantly lower the cost of energy” to make the technology more attractive, Runevad said at a conference in London hosted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “We can do more and we have to do more.”

Wind farms accounted for 20 percent of all new energy installations last year, according to the CEO. “If that trend continues we have the potential to double installations in the next five years.”

To reach that target, developers would have to add 74 gigawatts a year, assuming no shutdowns of existing plants. Last year a record 51.5 gigawatts were added.

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