World wind power surges to new high in 2014 says report

The world’s wind power sector installed a record 51 GW of new capacity in 2014 and is set to reach 60 GW per year by 2018, new analysis has found.

According to the Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update, released this week by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), 2014 was “a great year” for the world’s wind industry – especially in emerging markets.

World-leader China installed a new high of 23 GW of wind power last year, the highest annual installation ever for a single nation, bringing its total capacity to 114 GW. Brazil, the world’s fourth-largest market in 2014, entered GWEC’s top 10 ranked nations for the first time, installing around 2.5 GW. Africa’s market took off with nearly 1 GW installed, and GWEC expects the continent – led by Morocco (with 300 MW added in 2014), South Africa (560 MW) and Egypt (60 MW) – to be the fastest-growing regional market to 2018.

The report noted that Germany (5.3 GW added), Chile (506 MW), Canada (1.9 GW) and Turkey (3.8 GW) also had record years. GWEC said Germany’s record was particularly notable as it represents “the first time any country other than China or the US has installed more than 5000 MW in a single year”.

According to GWEC, the world’s top wind markets in 2014, in terms of total installed capacity, were: China, the US, Germany, Spain, India, the UK, Canada, France, Italy and Brazil.

In its future projections, GWEC said it expects China – which aims to install 200 GW by 2020 – to meet its goal “well ahead” of that year, and to continue to lead future global growth. India, which has targeted 100 GW by 2022, is also expected to “grow substantially” although it had an “unspectacular” 2014, adding only 2.3 GW; while Latin America – led by Brazil, but with Mexico (which added 634 MW) hot on its heels – is identified as a strong regional market.

In terms of traditional markets, GWEC expects Europe (with a total of 12.9 GW added) to remain “relatively stable”. The trade body said the North American market is “the most difficult to predict” given potential policy uncertainty in both the US and Canada post-2016.

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