BloombergNEF (BNEF) has published its 1H 2021 Global Wind Market Outlook outlining global wind capacity to 2030 for the first time. The report provides visibility of the regional and global trends that will affect the wind industry over this decade. The following are key findings from the report:
Global wind installations: The wind sector added 97 GW of capacity in a record-setting 2020. BNEF expects strong, albeit lower, build of 88 GW in 2021. From 2022, onshore additions will plateau and most growth will come from offshore. Offshore wind will exceed 10 GW of annual installations for the first time in 2021 and hit over 30 GW in 2030 – a quarter of wind installs that year. BNEF predicts cumulative wind capacity will double from 2021 to 2030, reaching 1.7 TW by the end of the decade.
Europe, the Middle East and Africa: Europe is gearing up for its highest-ever year of onshore wind additions in 2021, and the total will climb even higher in 2022 with 21 GW of installations. After three booming years, additions in Northern Europe will stall from 2023 as permitting and grid constraints hurt the sector. Despite this, build in EMEA will stay flat, averaging an annual 17.5 GW from 2023-30 with the Middle East and Africa accounting for as much as a quarter of this annual build by the end of the decade.
Asia Pacific: China’s onshore wind sector boomed last year as developers raced to commission capacity before the country’s feed-in tariff expired. This drove record installations in Asia Pacific’s in 2020, despite the rest of the region posting its lowest total since 2013. A 20 GW drop in China’s onshore wind build in 2021 and subsequent growth to meet the country’s 2060 carbon-neutrality goal will shape Asia’s build forecast to 2030. BNEF expects Vietnam and Australia to set new install records in 2021 before contracting in 2022, while the Indian market will bounce back despite ongoing challenges with Covid-19. Asia Pacific installations outside of China stay relatively flat at an annual average of 8 GW from 2021-30.
Americas: The U.S. is set for another year of strong onshore wind build in 2021 after a record-setting 2020. Developers are cashing in on tax credits while they still can. The subsidy is being phased out and will end in 2026 (if proposed extensions do not pass). Brazil and Chile prop up the forecast in Latin America as an economic crisis in Argentina and hostile policy in Mexico restrict build.
Decommissioning and repowering: From around 5GW in 2021, BNEF predicts over 15 GW of onshore wind turbines will be retired in 2030. This equates to 16% of the capacity that comes online in that year. Two thirds of these retirements are in China with some turbines decommissioning early. Many owners are opting to repower in order to exploit the high wind speeds at early project sites. We predict strong activity in the U.S. and Germany will support over 6 GW of repowering out to 2024. After this, the repowering of Chinese turbines will drive a second boom.