Global Wind Industry to Reach 500 GW by 2017

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The global wind industry is set to install more than 46 GW of new wind energy this year and, according to a new five-year industry forecast published today by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) at the EWEA 2012 Conference at Bella Center in Copenhagen, total global wind power capacity by the end of 2016 will be just under 500 GW.

The GWEC projects average annual market growth rates of approximately 8 percent for each of the next 5 years, but with a strong 2012 and a big dip in 2013, because of the presumed failure to extend or implement important government incentives and rebates.

Total installation capacity for the 2012 to 2016 period is expected to reach 255 GW.

“For the next five years, annual market growth will be driven primarily by India and Brazil, with significant contributions from new markets in Latin America, Africa and Asia,” said Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General. “While the market continues to diversify across all continents, it is at the same time plagued by continued slow economic growth and budget crises in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development), as well as the continuing credit crunch.”

Asia Continues Market Leadership

For the second year in a row, the majority of the new installations were outside of the OECD and this is a trend that the GWEC expects will only continue.

Asia continues to be the world’s largest market with many more installations than any other region, and it is expected to install a total of 118 GW between now and 2016. It is projected to surpass Europe as the world leader in cumulative installed capacity sometime during 2013. It is expected to end 2016 with a total of 200 GW of installed capacity, about two-fifths of world capacity.

The Chinese market has stabilised after nearly a decade of double and triple digit growth, and is expected to remain around current levels for the next few years.

India achieved a 3 GW market for the first time last year and is expected to reach 5 GW by 2015.

Following the nuclear disaster of 2011, Japan’s wind industry is being revitalised and is also expected to become a dominant market in the region.

Rest of the World Growing As Well

Stats for the rest of the world are nearly as encouraging as those in Asia. The Latin American market is being supported mainly by Brazil as it makes a name for itself as an established major international market with a strong manufacturing base which could end up supplying a growing regional market, growth that is likely to represent the majority in the region through to 2016.

Due to it’s tough 2020 goals, the European market remains stable and should reveal few surprises. Germany had a strong 2011 and, with the government’s plan to phase out all nuclear installations by 2020, the wind industry is likely to take a good boost. Spain had a disappointing 2011 which is likely to continue into 2010, but Romania, Poland, Turkey, and Sweden have taken up the slack.

Which leaves North America, a market expected to continue growing through 2012 thanks to well over 1,000 MW installed in Canada and Mexico and more than 8 GW currently under construction in the US. North America is expected to end 2016 with just over 100 GW installed.

Source: Global Wind Energy Council
Image Source: Gavin Schaefer

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Joshua S Hill

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