Wind Power Keeps on Growing, Says Report

Wind power has made such inroads that it’s no longer “alternative,” says an industry report released today. Total world power capacity generated by wind rose by more than a quarter last year, to 39,294 megawatts. The U.S. and Europe together accounted for 88 percent of the total, with Germany alone coming in at 40 percent. Japan and India were cited as countries where wind power is growing. The report criticized the U.S. for allowing a federal tax credit for wind generation to expire at the end of 2003 and called for its renewal. In less hopeful news, a report from the U.K.’s Royal Academy of Engineering today concluded that energy from offshore wind farms will cost almost twice as much per MW as that from traditional sources — in particular, from gas and nuclear power plants. The British Wind Energy Association called the report a bunch of hooey.