The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) today declared the industry “back on track” with at least 47GW of additions expected this year – and “steady if unspectacular growth” to double the worldwide installed base to about 600GW by the end of 2018.
GWEC’s Global Wind Report, Annual Market Update says the expected 2014 installation figure marks a welcome upswing from the 35.4GW added last year.
That recovery will be led by China and the US, and will also see record installations in Canada and Brazil plus “hundreds of megawatts” in South Africa.
But the body said beyond the year’s end, annual market growth will settle back to a more "normal" 6-10% through to 2018. Cumulative growth will average 12-14%.
The lack of a robust global climate policy would prevent a return to the 20-25% growth rates seen on previous decades, cautioned GWEC.
GWEC’s secretary general Steve Sawyer said: "The global market is back on track for 2014.
"A strong Chinese market, recovery in the US and an increasing role for emerging economies in the global market means that after 2014 the market will resume its steady if unspectacular growth, and end up just about doubling total global installations during the five year period to 2018."
GWEC said wind is becoming cost-competitive in more markets, and increasingly chiming with priorities such as job creation and energy security – the latter brought into focus by events in Ukraine.
Sawyer said: "Wind is now a mainstream technology, and a central part of electricity market development in an increasing number of countries.
"But for the industry to reach its full potential, it is essential that governments get serious about climate change, and soon."