Growth in the wind energy sector is primarily driven by one market, China. The United States of America ranks second, Germany and Spain rank third and fourth, respectively. India remains in fifth position with growth almost consistently matching the global average.
The contribution of offshore power continues to gain momentum. A more rapid globalisation of wind energy is becoming evident. Countries previously without wind generation capacity, or with very limited capacity, are now looking at far more ambitious plans than the early adopters considered when wind energy was in its relative infancy, and putting in place targets and fiscal incentives to reach them.
While many of the planned projects have yet to break ground, significant capacity increases is likely to be seen in countries where previously there was little. Mergers and acquisitions increased by turbine manufacturers to secure the supply chain and developers to increase their wind capacity. With many major Chinese turbine manufacturers extending their presence in key growth areas and seeking to eliminate risk of bottlenecks through acquisition of second tier suppliers, and Western manufacturers’ starting to acquire suppliers for the offshore sector. Long term growth is expected and it’s believed global cumulative capacity will reach 667 GW by 2020.
As a proportion of total renewable capacity, in terms of installed capacity wind energy has overtaken hydro becoming the most widely used renewable. Although, both technologies are not mutually exclusive and hydro can be used in a storage capacity for electricity generated from wind. Solar PV will enjoy similar success, of course with a different geographic mix.
Almost all renewables markets have been built on the back of government support and subsidies and in some cases these are substantial. Green certificates and carbon trading have become more embedded in policy. Governments continue to respond to their increasing obligations relating to renewable and emissions reductions.
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Tim is an original member and founder of World Of Renewables. Since 2005, he has steered WoR to an industry leader within the field of renewable energy news reporting. Tim is now Vice-Chairman of WOREA and played a major role in the merger with WREA.