The Global Wind Energy Council has released its annual market statistics: the 2016 market stood at more than 54 GW, bringing the total global installed capacity to nearly 487 GW. Led by China, the US, Germany and India and with surprisingly strong showings from France, Turkey and the Netherlands, the global market was nonetheless less than the record total achieved in 2015.
Wind power continues to grow in double digits, but the industry cannot be expected to set a new record every single year. Chinese installations amounted to an impressive 23,328 MW, although this was less than 2015’s spectacular 30 GW, which was driven by impending feed-in tariff reductions. Although GWEC expects the market to pick up again in 2017, Chinese electricity demand growth is slackening and the grid is unable to handle the volume of new wind capacity additions. The Chinese offshore market began what many hope is the sector’s long awaited take-off in 2016, with China passing Denmark to achieve 3rd place in the global offshore rankings, after the UK and Germany.
US installations (8,203 MW) nearly equalled 2015’s strong market, bringing the country total to more than 82 GW. The US industry now employs more than 100,000 people and has over 18 GW under construction or in advanced stages of development, indicating another strong market in 2017. Canada (702 MW) and Mexico (454 MW) posted solid, though modest, gains. Read more…
Article published in: FuturENERGY January-February 2017