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Steve SawyerOn 25 April in Delhi GWEC released its Global Wind Report – Annual Market Update, detailing how in 2016 more than 54GW of clean renewable wind power was installed across the global market. This global market now comprises more than 90 countries, including 9 with more than 10,000MW installed, and 29 which have now passed the 1,000MW mark. Cumulative capacity grew by 12.6% to reach a total of 486.8GW. Wind power penetration levels continue to increase, led by Denmark pushing 40%, followed by Uruguay, Portugal and Ireland with well over 20%, Spain and Cyprus around 20%, Germany at 16%, and the big markets of China, the USA and Canada with 4, 5.5 and 6% of their power from wind respectively.

By Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General

Looking at our rolling five-year forecast, we see just under 60GW installed globally in 2017, a more or less flat 2018 and then growth again out through the end of the decade to bring total installations up to just over 800GW by the end of 2021, with the annual market rising to 75GW in that year.

Growth will be led by Asia: China will continue to lead all markets, but India set a new record for installations this past year and has a real shot to meet the government’s very ambitious targets for the sector, and there are a number of exciting new markets in the region with great potential.

Market fundamentals are strong in North America, and Europe’s steady if unspectacular march towards its 2020 targets has been given a big boost by the year’s most exciting new development: the dramatic price reductions for offshore wind. Europe will continue to lead the offshore market, but the low prices have attracted the attention of policymakers worldwide, particularly in North America and Asia.

Offshore wind has had a major price breakthrough in the past year, and looks set to live up to the enormous potential that many have believed in for years. A number of countries have announced they are considering accelerating their offshore programmes in light of the price points which have been reached in the past year. We see the technology continuing to improve and spread beyond its home base in Europe in the next 5–10 years.

Despite Brazil’s political and economic woes, other countries in the region have stepped up to fill the gap, especially Uruguay, Chile and the region’s most exciting new market in Argentina. Africa will have a big year in 2017, led by Kenya, South Africa and Morocco, and the future of wind on the continent looks bright. After a lull, the Australian market looks to come roaring back with a strong pipeline of projects to be built out over the next few years.

Overall, we have a lot of confidence in the wind power market going forward, as the technology continues to improve, prices continue to go down and the call for clean, renewable power to reduce emissions, clean our air and create new jobs and new industries only gets stronger with each passing year. See more details in our freshly released Global Wind Report available at

About GWEC
The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) is the global trade association representing the wind industry. GWEC works at the highest international political level to create a better policy environment for wind power. GWEC’s mission is to ensure that wind power establishes itself as the answer to today's energy challenges, providing substantial environmental and economic benefits. For more information visit

About the Global Wind Report
GWEC's Global Wind Report – Annual Market Update, GWEC's flagship publication, is the industry's premiere global report and most widely used source of data. This 76-page report provides a comprehensive snapshot of the global wind industry. This year's edition includes insights into the 20 top wind markets across the world, including new wind power hotspots Vietnam and Argentina, a five-year market forecast out to 2021, a special feature chapter on ‘Corporate sourcing of renewables – a new market driver for wind’, an update on global offshore wind and much more.

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