The latest data released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) shows North, Central and South America has installed 11.9 GW capacity of wind power in 2018, an increase of 12% on last year. In North America (Canada and USA) new capacity additions grew by 10.8% compared to 2017. In Latin America new capacity additions grew by 18.7% compared to 2017.
Looking at data from 2018, the Americas, with a total installed wind capacity of 135 GW, make up about 25% of the total new global installed capacity in 2018. The leading countries in the region include: USA, Brazil, and Mexico.
In North America, the recent and final extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) has driven volume. In Latin America, the commitment to auctions has continued to deliver volume for the region. The Latin America region is expected to continue its growth with a further expansion of the supply chain during 2019.
The North American wind market is one of the most mature and competitive in the wind industry. Many learnings and experiences from the success here can be used in other markets. The rise of corporate procurement during 2018 demonstrates how corporate sourcing can drive demand and volume in other wind markets. According to data from CanWEA and AWEA in North America the wind industry supports now over 160,000 jobs.
Brazil installed 2 GW of added capacity during 2018 and auctioned further capacity at world beating prices of as low as $22/MWh. Mexico installed almost 1 GW of new capacity, the highest capacity additions ever and now has a total capacity of 5 GW. Mexico expects to reach its target of generating 35% of its power capacity through renewables before 2024.
The development of the wind market in Latin America is very positive too. Large scale auctions have again taken place in Brazil, and GWEC expects the first auction in Colombia to be executed this month. Further investments in the supply chain by the leading OEMs Vestas and Nordex in Argentina prove the long-term potential of the market.
The North American offshore wind market continues to develop with supply chain planning taking place, tenders for offshore leasing zones being conducted (Massachusetts), JV formations (EDF and Shell for New Jersey leasing zones) and industry players establishing offices (MHI Vestas). GWEC expects projects to commence construction between 2020 and 2025.
The surge for wind in the Americas is expected to continue with GWEC forecasting over 60 GW new capacity between 2019 to 2023.