Global wind market: low growth in 2013

13.02.2014
Wind power in India, which will be one of the emerging markets in the next few years.
Photo: Das/GWEC

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has published its market analysis for the year 2013. According to the report, the wind power capacity installed worldwide last year was 318 GW, but annual growth declined in 2013 compared to the previous year by 10 GW to just 35 GW. This is equivalent to a growth of 12.5%. However, the GWEC is expecting a higher growth rate for 2014.

The Secretary General of the GWEC, Steve Sawyer, blames the discontinuation of subsidies in the U.S. for the weak growth last year to a large extent, but remains optimistic for next year: "Currently, projects with a capacity of 12 GW are being built in the U.S. This is a new record." The U.S. only installed roughly 1.1 GW of new wind farm capacity in 2013, increasing its total to 61.1 GW, but China's official goal of having 200 GW by 2020 is showing effect. The Chinese installed an additional 16.1 GW in 2013. With a total installed capacity of 91.4 GW, China continues to be the number one location for wind power, ahead of the USA. Germany, with a newly installed capacity of 3.2 GW in 2013 and an overall capacity of 34.3 GW, still takes third place.

But other countries, including India, Brazil and several African countries, are also driving their wind power programmes forward. "New markets are continuously emerging in Africa, Asia and Latin America," Sawyer says. He is more worried about stabilising existing markets: "With the U.S. back on track, at least for the next two years, the biggest challenge will be to stabilise European markets. This is true for onshore as well as offshore because both have been adversely affected by the political back and forth in recent years."

The GWEC's five-year forecast will be published in April. For the time being, additional construction in 2014 is expected to at least return to the level it was at in 2012, perhaps even surpass it.

Tanja Peschel

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