- Published: 10 February 2017 10 February 2017
The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has released its annual market statistics: the 2016 market was more than 54GW, bringing total global installed capacity to nearly 487GW. Led by China, the US, Germany, and India; and also with strong showings from France, Turkey and the Netherlands.
Chinese installations were 23,328MW, less than 2015's number of 30GW, which was driven by impending feed-in tariff reductions. Also, Chinese electricity demand growth is slackening, and the grid is unable to handle the volume of new wind capacity additions.
US installations (8,203MW) were nearly equal to 2015's market, bringing the US total to more than 82GW. The US industry now employs more than 100,000 people and has more than 18GW under construction or in advanced stages of development. Canada (702MW) and Mexico (454MW) posted solid though modest gains.
India set a new national record with 3,612MW of new installation and this brings the country's total to 28,700MW, consolidating its 4th position in total cumulative installations as well.
Europe had a surprisingly strong year, given the policy uncertainty which plagues the region, posting modest gains with an annual market of 13,926MW of which the EU-28 contributed 12,491MW. Germany also had another strong year, installing 5,443MW to bring its total capacity to more than 50GW. France had a strong year with more than 1,500MW, and Turkey broke the 1GW barrier for the first time, installing 1,387MW. The Netherlands entered the global top 10 in terms of annual market for the first time, with 887MW, most of which was offshore.
Brazil once again led the Latin America market, although the country's political and economic woes resulted in a market which barely cleared 2GW (2,014MW), but which still pushed the country over the 10GW mark as it ended the year with 10,740MW. Chile posted a record year with 513MW installed, bringing the country's total to 1,424MW, and Uruguay added 365MW for a year-end total of 1,210MW. Peru (93MW), the Dominican Republic (50MW) and Costa Rica (20MW) also had significant installations last year. While Argentina had no new installations in 2016, it now has a solid pipeline of more than 1,400MW which will be built out over the next couple of years.
Africa was quiet, with only 418MW installed in South Africa. Elsewhere, Morocco had a successful auction for 800+MW of wind which will be built out over the coming years, construction was nearly finished on the Lake Turkana project in Kenya; but Egypt's renewable ambitions seem to be stuck for the moment.
The Asia Pacific region was also quiet, with only Australia adding capacity (140MW) although there are signs of a strong revival in the Australian market.