The coronavirus crisis will slow down the wind industry in most markets this year, after the world added 59.7GW in new capacity in 2019 – making it the second-strongest wind year ever – the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) said.

Disrupted international supply chains and national lockdown regulations are both hampering the wind sector, like most other industries.

“Many governments have started to prepare plans and stimulus programmes to restore their economy after the corona crisis,” WWEA secretary general Stefan Gsänger said.

“WWEA’s advice to all governments: put investments in renewable energy, including wind power, at the centre of your economic strategies. Not only will this help overcome the economic devastation caused by the corona crisis, it will also address the world’s second challenge, the climate crisis.”

The transition to a renewable energy economy will ultimately not cause major financial burdens, he added, but will bring manifold social, economic and ecological benefits.

New wind installations last year were 10.1% higher than in 2018, when 50.25GW were added globally, WWEA’s annual statistics showed.

Wind turbines by the end of 2019 were able to cover more than 6% of global electricity demand.

China and the US both had their biggest market volumes of the last five years, with 27.5GW and 9.1GW added respectively.

Most of the European markets by contrast suffered from insufficient policies and faced a strong decline, in particular the former world leader Germany, which only added 2GW, down from 6.2GW in 2017, according to WWEA figures.