Winds of Change: The Environmental Movement and the Global Development of the Wind Energy Industry

By Ion Bogdan Vasi | Go to book overview

2
Environmental Campaigns and the Adoption
and Implementation of Feed-in Tariffs

The environmental movement has always recognized the interdepen-
dence of energy and environmental policy…. So intimate is the association
between energy and environmental quality—a link revealed again by the
emerging problems of global warming and acid precipitation—that the
nation’s environmental agenda for the next decade will become energy
policy by another name.

—Walter Rosenbaum, Environmental Politics and Policy
(Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1998, 262)


Success Stories: Feed-in Tariffs and Other Policies in
Germany, Denmark, and Spain

There is little doubt that the development of the wind energy industry has been most successful in Europe, and in particular in Germany, Denmark, and Spain. Germany was already producing more energy from wind than any other country in the world at the end of the twentieth century. In 2007, German manufacturers of wind turbines held a world market share of almost 40 percent, earning about €6 billion in exports and directly employing more than thirty-eight thousand people.1 By 2009 Germany had further consolidated its position as one of the world leaders: it had a total installed nominal capacity from wind energy of almost 24 GW, representing over 7 percent of Germany’s electricity consumption.2

Denmark also has a very strong wind energy industry: as a percentage of its total electricity production, Denmark produces more wind power than any other country in the world, about 20 percent.3 The country is also a major exporter of wind technology; in 2005, for example, it exported US$7.45 billion in energy technology and equipment, approximately 8 percent of total Danish exports and one-third of the total world market. One study estimated that one Danish company alone—Vestas—made 2,533 wind turbines in 2006,

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