Denmark’s Vestas, the world’s largest wind energy company, is considering setting up a research and development centre in Singapore, according to Thorbjorn Rasmussen, president of Vestas Asia Pacific. He says a decision will be made by the first half of 2006.If Singapore is chosen, the R&D centre could be up and running as early as in the second half of this year.
Vestas recently moved its Asia Pacific headquarters from Denmark to Singapore and its 30-person facility there is expected to be fully operational by July this year.
“We see the biggest growth in the Asia Pacific area coming out of countries like India and China, fed from economic growth in these countries and an increasing need for energy. If you look at the economic development around the world, Asia Pacific is one of the areas which will grow the fastest in the future. At the same time, we have a very low penetration of wind turbines on national grids in this area,” Rasmussen said.
“You could say maybe only India is the developed one, but India is maybe only down to 1 percent penetration of wind. So the potential is huge in this area and we foresee heavy growth rates out here.”
On growth rates for wind energy in the region, Mr Rasmussen said, “The industry is predicting that the next 10 years, the world growth rate will be maybe 20 to 25 percent for wind. I will not be surprised if we see out here maybe 35 to 45 percent growth rates. So we see that Asia Pacific will together with North America, drive a lot of the future growth in this industry.”
Mr Rasmussen said wind has the advantage of lower cost over other energy sources.
“Wind is one of the cheapest renewable energy sources you can find at the moment. Ten years from now, it could be another story. Right now, what I can see in the foreseeable future, it is the cheapest energy source of renewable energy in the world.”
He added that he did not exclude that his company could have test centres and labs going together with the new R&D centre.
That would be very natural if we take the decision. On top of that, demonstration projects and smaller production of maybe electronic components and things like that could be a part of our decision. But I have to underline that none of these decisions has been taken yet.”