Global wind hits 318GW – GWEC

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has unveiled its 2013 market statistics, with cumulative global capacity reaching a total of 318GW and China back to robust growth.

The 2013 cumulative total represents an increase of nearly 200GW over the past five years.

However, the annual market dropped by almost 10GW to 35.4GW on the previous year because of the precipitous drop in US installations due to the policy hiatus of 2012.

While last year marked another difficult year for the industry with ‘only’ 12.5% cumulative growth, the prospects for 2014 and beyond look much brighter, GWEC said.

“Outside of Europe and the US, the global market grew modestly last year, led by China and an exceptionally strong year in Canada. While the policy hiatus in the US hit our 2013 figures hard, the good news is that projects under construction in the US totalled more than 12GW at year end, a new record,” says GWEC secretary general Steve Sawyer.

European installations showed an "unhealthy concentration of the market in just two countries - Germany and the UK,” he adds.

GWEC welcomed the strong installation figures from China, noting that the consolidation phase for the Chinese industry which began after the peak year of 2010 seems to be over.

China added 16.1GW in 2013 for a total installed base of 91.4GW, said GWEC, giving provisional figures.

“China is a growth market again, which is good news for the industry. The government’s commitment to wind power has been reinforced once again by raising the official target for 2020 to 200GW, and the industry has responded,” adds Sawyer.

India has a new national ‘Wind Mission'; Brazil booked 4.7GW of new projects in 2013, and Mexico’s electricity sector reform is set to ignite the market in the coming years.

While only chalking up 90MW of installations in 2013, Africa is set to boom with new installations in 2014 led by South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

Note: Amends earlier version to correct 2013 market to 35.4GW.