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2019 was the second-biggest year for wind energy capacity additions, GWEC says

Photo by Andrew Schultz on Unsplash
Photo by Andrew Schultz on Unsplash

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), located in Brussels, stated in its most recent Global Wind Report that 2019 was the second biggest year for wind power, with installations of 60.4 GW of new capacity worldwide and a growth rate of 19%.

Market-based mechanisms drove the growth, according to the report, with auctioned wind capacity in 2019 surpassing 40 GW worldwide. This accounts for two-thirds new capacity and doubles the auctioned capacity compared to 2018.

The majority of wind energy installations in 2019 were located in established markets, with the top 5 markets (China, US, UK, India and Spain) accounting for 70% of new capacity. In terms of total installed capacity, China, U.S., U.K., India and Spain account for 73% of the total 651 GW of wind power capacity worldwide.

Additionally, the Asia Pacific region was the global leader for the new onshore wind installations in 2019, installing 28.1 GW of new capacity or around half of the new total globally.

Europe also saw a 30% growth, driven by Spain, Sweden and Greece. Emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and South East Asia showed moderate growth as well, with combined installations of 4.5 GW.

Regarding offshore wind, 2019 was a record year with 6.1 GW installed, accounting for 10% of total global installations. China lead this growth with 2.3 GW installed in 2019. U.K. remains in the top spot of cumulative offshore wind capacity, accounting for nearly one-third of the 29.1 GW total capacity.

Additional Reading: Global offshore wind installations up 35 percent in 2019, a new record

Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC said, “The wind energy sector is continuing to see consistent growth, after having unequivocally established itself as a cost-competitive energy source worldwide.”

Feng Zhao, Strategy Director at GWEC, added, “New technology developments such as hybridization and green hydrogen are increasingly being implemented in both mature and emerging markets to increase the share of wind and other renewables in their energy systems. If policymakers and industry stakeholders embrace these new opportunities, we can accelerate the global energy transition to never-before-seen levels.”

The report predicts continuous growth, with over 355 GW of wind energy capacity added over the next five years. This would entail 71 GW of wind energy capacity added each year until 2024; however, this forecast will be impacted due to COVID-19.

Although it is too soon to predict the extent of the virus’s impact of the global economy and energy market, GWEC Market Intelligence is monitoring the situation and aims to publish an updated Market Outlook for 2020-2024 in Q2 2020.