The world's wind power capacity grew by 31% in 2009, adding 37.5 GW to bring total installations up to 157.9 GW. A third of these additions were made in China, which experienced yet another year of over 100% growth.
Soruce: Companies and Markets Research
Wind energy is now an important player in the world’s energy markets. The global wind market for turbine installations in 2009 was worth about 45 bn EUR or 63 bn US$. GWEC estimates that around half a million people are now employed by the wind industry around the world.
The main markets driving this significant growth continue to be Asia, North America and Europe, each of which installed more than 10 GW of new wind capacity in 2009. China was the world’s largest market in 2009, nearly doubling its wind generation capacity from 12.1 GW in 2008 to 25.1 GW at the end of 2009 with new capacity additions of 13 GW.
China has reportedly succeeded in achieving a net reduction of 600m tons of carbon dioxide annually through the use of renewable energy. China’s share of renewable energy was 8% of its total primary energy consumption in 2009.
China has overtaken Germany in terms of global cumulative installed wind power capacity in 2009. Further, China is increasing its presence in the off-shore wind segment by investing in this sector.
Additional investments through government support aiming at solar power technological advancements would help China achieve 20GW of solar PV installed capacity by 2020 from the current levels of 160MW of annual installed solar PV capacity.
Although growth prospects of biomass power generation exist, China’s biomass market is yet to scale up to a commercial level. China is expecting to achieve 30GW of installed biomass capacity by 2020, while improving the process of feedstock collection.
Falling water resource availability and negative impact on environment is likely to limit large hydro power expansion in China beyond 2020. The Chinese government is expected to encourage growth of small hydropower growth as it creates less environmental damage when compared to large hydro.
Author: Paul Chapman, Analyst