After slow 2012, global wind likely to pick up


Even after lackluster growth in 2012 due to global economic concerns, the wind industry is likely to pick up speed in 2013, according to Frost & Sullivan.

The boost can be attributed in part to the extension of the U.S. Production Tax Credit, the recent wind farm agreement signed by the U.K. and Scotland, and Japan's recently announced investment in offshore wind in Fukushima. Government support all the way around also played a part.

"Ireland has the potential to generate far more wind energy than we could consume domestically," Irish Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte said in a statement. "The opportunity to export this green power presents an opportunity for employment growth and export earnings which we must seize if we can."

 British Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey concurs.

"Trading power with Ireland could increase the amount of green power in our energy mix and potentially bring down costs for UK consumers," he said in a statement.

Government commitment and support to moving away from nuclear and increasing renewables capacity has been critical to Japan's offshore wind development.

"The shutdown of Japan's nuclear reactors in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami has changed the perspectives towards renewable energy technologies," said Suchitra Sriram, program manager of Energy and Environment at Frost & Sullivan. "The compelling need for energy self-sufficiency and energy security has driven Japan to tap its offshore wind potential despite high costs and challenges in connecting to the power grid."

The Fukushima offshore wind project has a planned capacity of 1 GW and the potential to make Japan one of the leading wind power markets in the Asia Pacific.

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