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When I received the book Wind Energy International 2005/2006, the first edition of a planned series, I thought that the book would consist of only statistical wind energy facts. I was surprised that the content had much more to offer. The book gives the reader a complete worldwide overview of the wind energy situation and is therefore unique of its kind.

By Hans Hof, Contributing Editor, Windtech International


Approximately 135 pages of Wind Energy International 2005/2006 are dedicated to the 65 country surveys and the other 215 pages are articles. I noticed that of the 44 published articles 13 originate from German authors. Maybe this is a little too much from one country. When I tried to find the worldwide and continental summaries quickly I failed. Then, finally, I found these summaries on page 200. In the next edition I hope this section may be moved to a more prominent place at the beginning of the book.

The overview article says that at present more than 50,000MW of wind energy capacity is installed worldwide. The increase in Denmark, however, has now come almost to a standstill. The fastest growth is in New Zealand. In one year, this country has tripled its wind capacity. I was sorry to see there were no country reports for Greece, Belgium and Poland, all countries with more that 50MW installed wind capacity each. After some analysis one can conclude that in the 28 most important wind energy countries the average installed capacity is around 1,000W/km2 (ranging from 44 for Canada to 72,000 for Denmark). Based on the broad range of these figures, as well as the fact that in the other 90% of the countries hardly any wind capacity is installed, one can conclude that worldwide there is a huge potential for further growth of wind power. The challenge for the World Wind Energy Association is to make this visible.

One thing that puzzled me was the remark in the contribution of Mr Rhefelt that in Germany there is a growing scarcity of land surface for more wind turbines and that would stop further development. The average wind turbine density in Germany has now reached 47kW installed power per square kilometre, so the remark might be true. But in Denmark this figure is 72kW per square kilometre. One would think that this would mean that, using land surface as a yardstick to predict potentials, there should still be enough room left for further growth in Germany. Since the book does not give data about the coastlines of most of the countries one cannot make the analysis on that aspect complete at the moment. I hope that the composers of future editions of the book also include data on territorial sea areas and lakes.

I was very pleased when reading the articles from Mali and Bangladesh. They clearly show the contribution of wind energy in abatement of poverty in the world and provide a very encouraging signal. If it was up to me, I would give these authors a Poverty Abatement Wind Energy Prize, and encourage other countries in Asia and Africa to also come up with their examples and contributions. It would be particularly interesting to read in the next edition what will happen in Pakistan in the near future.

However, as the World Wind Energy Association writes, the wind industry has lost momentum in 2004, which is reflected in stagnation in some countries. Some governments, for instance the USA, seem to have weakened their growth targets and are hesitating to put more money into wind energy. That is not good for either the global climate or the wind industry. A long-term stable policy is needed. The Association, on the other hand, noted that the industry rolls out slowly to other parts of the world. More and more countries are discovering the possibilities of wind energy. That is an encouraging sign.

Future editions of the book could do with a stronger binding. After a short time using the book the pages fall apart. The book is clearly meant to be used as a book of reference (and is worth using in this way) and it will therefore be opened and examined often. The country surveys could be made more complete and the figures in the summary ought to be in better accordance with the data in the individual country reports. In general the summary figures are alright, but I did notice several places where the figures were conflicting.

The compiler, editors and publisher have been successful in realising their objectives and targets. The book contains an optimal mix of facts and figures and of opinions and backgrounds about the developments in the wind sector. This book should not be missing from the bookshelf of any self-respecting wind turbine stakeholder. Make sure you get one!

Wind Energy International 2005/2006
Published in September 2005
Edited by the World Wind Energy Association
ISBN 81-7525-641-9 (352 pages)
EU-Countries: € 60 incl. delivery and VAT
Outside EU: € 60 incl. delivery
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