- Published: 05 February 2014 05 February 2014
The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) released its 2013 market statistics, with cumulative global capacity reaching a total of 318,137 MW, an increase of nearly 200,000 MW in the past five years.
However, the annual market dropped by almost 10 GW to 35,467 MW, attributable to the precipitous drop in US installations due to the policy gap created by the US Congress in 2012. While 2013 marked another difficult year for the industry with ‘only’ 12.5% cumulative growth, the prospects for 2014 and beyond look much brighter. Outside of Europe and the US, the global market grew modestly last year, led by China and an exceptionally strong year in Canada. While the policy hiatus in the US hit the 2013 figures hard, the good news is that projects under construction in the US totalled more than 12,000 MW at year end, a new record. European installations were off by a modest 8%, but with an unhealthy concentration of the market in just two countries - Germany and the UK. GWEC welcomed the strong installation figures from China, noting that the consolidation phase for the Chinese industry which began after the peak year of 2010 seems to be over. China is a growth market again. The government’s commitment to wind power has been reinforced once again by raising the official target for 2020 to 200 GW. India has a new national ‘Wind Mission’, Brazil booked 4.7 GW of new projects in 2013, and Mexico’s electricity sector reform is set to ignite the market in the coming years. While only chalking up 90 MW in installations in 2013, Africa is set to boom with new installations in 2014 led by South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. Non-OECD markets are pretty healthy on the whole, and there is a steady stream of new markets emerging in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. With the US apparently back on track, at least for the next two years, the main challenge is stabilising the European markets, both onshore and offshore. GWEC expects 2014 installations to at least return to 2012 levels, and probably surpass them.