The development of wind energy technology
The development and application of the wind energy technology is one of the genuine success stories in modern history of technology. The most impressive development period in this field was the explosion of the global wind market during the 1990's. The total installed wind capacity in the world is approaching 40 GW, from which an amazing 29 GW in Europe.
In the side there is a figure of the wind power installed in Europe by the end of 2003.
The future of Megawatt-sized wind turbines
600 and 750 kW machines continue to be the "working horses" of the industry at present, but the megawatt-market took off in 1998 and it has been clear that the market trend is towards bigger projects with bigger wind turbines. The development in unit sizes of wind turbines during the period 1999-2010 is outlined in the figure in the side.
Megawatt-sized machines will be ideal for offshore applications, and for areas where space for siting is scarce, so that a megawatt machine will exploit the local wind resources better.
Commercial mega size turbines are nowadays available in sizes ranging from 2 MW to 3 MW and there are prototypes running of up to 5 MW.
- New installed power in EU: table for 1995-2020
- Present technology spectrum: trends in technology, companies