With oil prices reaching record levels and natural gas doubling in price over the last two years, the main beneficiaries are wind power and the environment. Manel Romeu Belles, of Danish turbine company Vestas, looks at how the harnessing of the wind is becoming a complement to oil and gas.
Over the last few months, oil prices have reached their highest level, in real terms, since the end of the seventies. The price of oil is changing the economics of the energy market, making wind power not only valued for its environmental merits, but also competitive in cost with fossil fuels.
From 2003 the price of oil increased steadily, followed by an abrupt rise in 2007–a trend that has continued until today. This change is largely due to a structural shift in global oil supply and demand, which has its roots in the ever-increasing demand for oil, especially in China and India. Global energy consumption is expected to increase by 50 per cent by 2030. Other temporary factors such as the weakening of the dollar, market speculation and the political instability of the Middle East have simply worsened the situation.