Wind power is developing rapidly at both Europeanand global levels. Over the past 15 years, the globalinstalled capacity of wind power increased from around2.5 GW in 1992 to just over 94 GW at the end of 2007,an average annual growth of more than 25 per cent.Owing to ongoing improvements in turbine efﬁciency andhigher fuel prices, wind power is becoming economi-cally competitive with conventional power production,and at sites with high wind speeds on land, wind poweris considered to be fully commercial.Part III of this volume focuses on the economics of wind power. The investment and cost structures of land-based and offshore turbines are discussed. Thecost of electricity produced is also addressed, whichtakes into account the lifetime of turbines and O&Mcosts, and the past and future development of thecosts of wind-generated power is analysed. In subse-quent chapters, the importance of ﬁnance, supportschemes and employment issues are discussed. Finally,the cost of wind-generated electricity is compared tothe cost of conventional fossil fuel-ﬁred power plants.Wind power is used in a number of different appli-cations, including grid-connected and stand-aloneelectricity production and water pumping. Part IIIanalyses the economics of wind energy, primarily inrelation to grid-connected turbines, which accountfor the vast bulk of the market value of installedturbines.
PART III INTRODUCTION