China Wind Installations Push Global Wind Past 63 GW

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New figures from the Global Wind Energy Council show that China helped push global wind installations past 63 GW in 2015.

Windmills in China via Wikicommons (Some Rights Reserved)In its release of global wind statistics for 2015, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) highlighted the “astonishing” 30.5 GW of new wind capacity installed in China in 2015, which pushed the global wind industry’s total capacity installed in 2015 past 63 GW, representing an annual market growth of 22%.

The US, which installed the second most in 2015, installed 8.6 GW, while Germany installed just over 6 GW, leading a stronger than expected European market, which also included Poland with 1.3 GW, France with 1 GW, and the UK and Turkey with 975 MW and 956 MW respectively.

“Wind power is leading the charge in the transition away from fossil fuels,” said Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of GWEC. “Wind is blowing away the competition on price, performance and reliability, and we’re seeing new markets open up across Africa, Asia and Latin America which will become the market leaders of the next decade. Wind power led new capacity additions in both Europe and the United States, and new turbine configurations have dramatically increased the areas where wind power is the competitive option.”

China has now edged past the European Union in terms of total installed capacity, with 145.1 GW compared to the EU’s 141.6 GW — and it doesn’t look as if China’s drive will cease any time soon. Spurring growth in the region is India, which installed 2.6 GW of wind in 2015, pushing past Spain into fourth in terms of global cumulative capacity.

The Global Wind Energy Council’s figures are in line with other analyses of global wind energy installed during 2015.

Earlier in February, Bloomberg New Energy Finance released its figures, showing that global wind energy installs for 2015 reached 62 GW, led by China which installed just under 29 GW. The differences in figures are down to how each group analyses projects, and the access to information, private and public.

The European Wind Energy Association also released its own figures earlier this week, reporting a total of 12.8 GW of new wind capacity added to the grid in 2015, an increase of 6.3% over 2014 levels.

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Joshua S Hill

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