Wind energy installations hit new record, Asia to grow faster and capture half of global market


An onshore wind farm. IAC file photo

Asia will continue to dominate the global wind energy market in the next five years, after the industry grew set a new record in 2015 with annual installations crossing the 60 gigawatt mark for the first time in history, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said in a report.

It said more than 63 gigawatt of new wind energy power capacity was brought on line last year as total investments in the clean energy sector reached $329 billion, up 4 percent from $316 billion in 2014.

“The new global total for wind power at the end of 2015 was 432.9 GW, representing cumulative market growth of more than 17 percent,” the report said, adding that the expansion was powered by an astonishing new installations figure of 30,753 MW in China.

The global wind power industry installed 63,467 MW in 2015, representing annual market growth of 22 percent.

The report forecast that Asia will continue to dominate the period from 2016- 2020, capturing at least 50 percent of the global market, although its dominance may be tempered slightly towards the end of the decade.

Europe will continue its steady pace towards its 2020 targets, although increasing policy uncertainty might mean some bumps in the road. With Mexico, Canada and the US all on a strong policy footing, North America should continue its strong growth for the rest of the decade, the GWEC said.

According to the report, Latin America will continue to be driven largely by Brazil, although there will be increasing contributions from a variety of markets, including a large new potential market in Argentina. Africa and the Middle East continue to diversify, although in the short term it will be dominated by South Africa, Egypt and Morocco, with Kenya and Ethiopia coming on strong.

The report said:

  • China, the largest overall market for wind power since 2009, retained the top spot in 2015.
  • Installations in Asia again led global markets, with Europe in the second spot, and North America closing the gap with Europe, in third place.
  • By the end of last year the number of countries with more than 1,000 MW installed capacity was 26: including 17 in Europe; 4 in Asia-Pacific (China, India, Japan & Australia); 3 in North America (Canada, Mexico, US), 1 in Latin America (Brazil) and 1 in Africa (South Africa).
  • By the end of last year eight countries had more than 10,000 MW of installed capacity including China (145,362 MW), the US (74,471 MW), Germany (44,947 MW), India (25,088 MW), Spain (23,025 MW), UK (13,603 MW), Canada (11,205 MW), and France (10,358 MW).
  • China crossed the 100,000 MW mark in 2014, adding another chapter to its already exceptional history of renewable energy development since 2005.



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