The overall capacity of all wind turbines installed worldwide by the end of 2018 reached 600GW, according to preliminary statistics published by WWEA. 53,900MW were added in the year 2018, slightly more than in 2017 when 52,552MW were installed. 2018 was the second year in a row with growing number of new installations but at a lower rate of 9,8%, after 10,8% growth in 2017. All wind turbines installed by end of 2018 can cover close to 6% of the global electricity demand.
While the European wind markets were on a decline, with most European states showing weak development, including Germany, Spain, France and Italy. At the same time, robust or even stronger growth has been observed in countries such as China, India, Brazil, many other Asian markets and also some African countries.
The by far largest wind power market, China, installed an additional capacity of 25,9GW and has become the first country with an installed wind power capacity of more than 200GW. It has re-taken the growth path after a no-so-strong year in 2017 when a comparatively modest 19GW were installed. China continues its undisputed position as the world’s wind power leader, with an accumulated wind capacity of 221GW.
The second largest market, the USA, saw an increase in new capacity from 6,7GW in 2017 to 7,6GW in 2018, in spite of less ambitious national climate and energy targets. This positive development is certainly not only a result of the economics of wind power, but also of strong and comprehensive support on the state and municipal level.
Out of the leading markets, the US (7,6GW added, reaching 96GW in total), Germany (3,1GW new, overall 59GW), India (2,1GW added, 35GW total capacity) United Kingdom (2,9GW new, 20,7GW total), Brazil (1,7GW new, 14,5GW total) and France (1,5GW new, 15,3GW total) all saw substantial growth, although in some cases well above, in others well below the previous year.