Wind power will reach 500 GW worldwide by the end of the year

11.10.2016

At the end of June wind capacity worldwide reached 456,486 MW, which corresponds to 4.7 % of the global electricity demand. In the second half of 2016, an additional 40 GW are expected, bringing the total to 500 GW. The announcement was made by the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) in its half-year report.

Of the total, 21.7 GW were added in the first six months of 2016. The amount is similar to the first half of 2015, when 21.6 GW were installed.

The “big five” that traditionally dominate the market – China, USA, Germany, India and Spain – now cover together 67 % of the global wind capacity. Their share shrunk from 73 % at the end of June 2013. Germany, India and Brazil are the leaders in terms of new capacity, while the role of the USA and Spain is minimal (less than 4 %). Brazil, in particular, surpassed Italy and became the 9th largest market, with 1,095 MW added in the first half of 2016. China remained on the same levels of last year.

“The good news is especially that we can see strong markets now also in Latin America and in Africa. With the expected 500 GW installed wind capacity by end of this year, wind power will contribute 5 % to the global power supply,” said Stefan Gsänger, WWEA Secretary General. “A major reason of concern is, however, the global trend towards auctions which is endangering the driving role of small and medium sized players.”

Europe’s share continued to decrease, representing 33% of world’s total by the end of June. As in 2015, new installations increased in Germany, France and Italy but decreased dramatically in the UK (320 MW, after 872 MW in the first half of 2015). Germany is still firmly number one in Europe, with new capacity of 2,4 GW and a total of 47,4 GW. A record number of installations is expected to be completed in the country in the second half of the year, while a significant reduction is likely in 2017, when a new auction system will be introduced.

China remains the largest wind market, with 10 GW added in six months. Beijing’s overall wind capacity is now 158 GW. India added a record 2,4 GW, almost double the amount of the same period in 2015. Japan and Korea are growing at modest rates (3,3 % and 7,5% respectively).

As regards the US, only 520 MW were added between January and March, but more than 12,5 GW of wind power are under construction. Similarly, Canada installed 109 MW during the first half of 2016, only 20 % of the total installed in the same period of 2015.

This week Bloomberg New Energy Finance warned that investment in clean energy in the third quarter of 2016 fell to the lowest in more than three years. Spending was USD 42.4 billion worldwide, down 43 % compared to the same period last year. This is due to cuts to governments’ incentives, declining costs, as well as reduced demand for new renewable energy sources in China, Japan and Europe.

Claudia Delpero

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