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All good points, but the 17% reduction is on total global wind investment not local German investment and so my query is whether wind energy investment has peaked or whether we are simply seeing a temporary blip in what has always been a volatile market. Is wind investment becoming less attractive compared to other investments, or are we approaching saturation of suitable sites in some markets.

Obviously the global financial crisis has impacted on investment generally, and the increased affordability of solar may also have "crowded out" some investment that might otherwise have gone to wind. Solar is obviously much more scalable/flexible than wind and may also need less grid infrastructure enhancement. Even in Ireland there are increasing numbers of standalone street signs powered by standalone solar panels - and I have even seen one with a small wind rotor attached as well!

I could see huge expansion of solar in poorer third world countries with warmer climates and poor generation and transmission infrastructures as the cost of solar continues to go down.  Wind will always be more of an industrial scale technology requiring greater scale/investment/infrastructure/technology and it doesn't look like there is the same scope for cost reduction as there is with solar.

So are we moving from wind to solar as the leading renewable technology on an ongoing basis? Obviously there is scope for both as the intermittancy patterns are different, but has wind passed its peak?


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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 13th, 2012 at 09:26:21 AM EST
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