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Wind Share of World Electricity Will More Than Double By 2018

Front cover of Navigant report, showing world's most powerful wind turbine (Navigant/Vestas)

Front cover of the Navigant report, featuring the most powerful wind turbine installed in the world (Vestas V164-8.0 MW prototype at the Danish National Test Centre in Østerild, Denmark, originally © Vestas Wind Systems A/S).

Global prospects for wind power are rising despite disappointing 2013 numbers, say analysts at Navigant Research. Although the wind industry worldwide added 36,134 MW in 2013, for the first time in nearly a decade, new installed wind power fell below that of the year before. The graph below indicates a 20% year-on-year decline in 2013, compared to market growth of 18.6% in 2012.

Front cover of Navigant report, showing world's most powerful wind turbine (Navigant/Vestas)

Analysts had expected this market decline because of important European markets continuing to feel the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and negative conditions in several key countries (notably the United States and Spain, both plagued by policy inconsistency). Importantly, the US failed to demonstrate an ongoing political commitment and renew tax credits for wind development, which have traditionally stimulated investment. Installation of new wind plants in the United States dropped by 93%, significantly reducing global growth.

Still, wind power now supplies about 3% of the world’s electricity, and the signs are good for the next several years. Navigant expects wind power to deliver 7.3% of global electricity by 2018. Says Feng Zhao, research director:

Last year was the first in which the wind industry experienced negative growth since 2004, but there are signs that the 2013 slowdown will turn out to be an anomaly. As wind turbine vendors search for new opportunities in emerging markets, primarily in Latin America and Africa, and develop machines for maximum energy production in low wind speed areas, the industry is expected to add another 250 gigawatts of capacity through 2018.

The Navigant wind report, World Market Update 2013, is the 19th edition of a rolling annual wind energy trend analysis and 5-year forecast. The study includes more than 70 tables, charts, and graphs illustrating global wind market development. It presents an overview of the global wind turbine fleet, the top 10 markets in the world, commercial technology, positives and negatives of reliance on domestic markets, new, diverse, and cash-rich institutional investors, and the influence of geopolitics around climate change.

Highlights of the 2013 update:

  • World electricity installation in 2013 of 36.13 GW.
  • Vestas recaptures the No.1 position after it lost its leading position to GE Wind in 2012.
  • China regains its title as the world’s largest annual market with 16,088 MW of new wind power installed in 2013.
  • Offshore wind grows over 50% annually in 2013 and lines up for steady growth in Europe.
  • Direct drive turbines take 28.1% of the global market even as traditional DFIG regains popularity.
  • Goldwind’s GW1.5 MW was the most frequently installed wind turbine in 2013.
  • Wind power will deliver at least 2.87% of the world’s electricity in 2014, growing to 7.28% in 2018.
  • Wind power capacity installations in 2014 are expected to rebound with 29.6% growth.

Finally, the report issues the think tank’s on- and offshore wind world electricity market forecast for 2014-2018 and predictions through 2023. Appendices profile leading wind turbine manufacturers, major sub-suppliers, and major wind project developers/owners.

Navigant focuses its special world electricity reporting this year on global onshore wind operations and maintenance. It indicates that demand for O&M services from original wind equipment manufacturers and independent service providers is expected to grow by 40 GW a year from 2013 onward, representing a significant wind power business separate from wind farm construction.

Download the executive summary free on the Navigant Research website. Also, access related stories on Important Media:

Global Wind Power Capacity Projected To Nearly Double In 5 Years (Charts)

Wind Energy Installations Stall In US, Surge In China

Generation Gap: Wind Power Opens Big Lead over Nuclear in China

Siemens Pursuing Strong Offshore Wind Power Development in UK and EU

Production Tax Credit For Wind Power Saved, For One Year

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Written By

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."


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