New data from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) says that emerging wind markets, such as Brazil, Mexico and Turkey, helped to drive global wind growth in 2014.
According to GWEC, China remains the wind leader, as the country installed an astonishing 23 GW of new wind power in 2014, bringing its cumulative total to more than 114 GW.
Brazil – the world's fourth largest market in 2014 – entered the top 10 cumulative rankings for the first time. The African market took off in 2014, and Germany, Chile, Canada and Turkey also had record years, the group notes.
‘Wind power's growth is increasingly driven by its competitive pricing, as well as because it enhances energy security, price stability and, especially in China, through the need to address the choking smog that is increasingly making major urban areas in the developing world unliveable,’ says Steve Sawyer, GWEC secretary general.
The U.S. market recovered in 2014 from a dismal 2013 and looks set for at least another two strong years, as does Canada, according to GWEC. Germany's record installations led an increasingly concentrated European market.
Looking ahead, GWEC expects the 2015 market to top 50 GW again, and reach 60 GW per year by 2018. Growth will continue to be led by China, which seems on track to meet its 200 GW well ahead of the government's target of 2020, and the Indian market is expected to grow substantially in the years ahead. Led by Brazil, Latin America is becoming a strong regional market and Mexico is quickly catching up.
Africa installed nearly 1 GW in 2014 for the first time, and GWEC expect it to pass that mark in 2015 and not look back. GWEC looks for a number of new markets, led by South Africa, Egypt and Morocco, to emerge in the coming years that will make Africa the fastest-growing regional market, at least in percentage terms, in the coming years.
While Europe is expected to remain relatively stable, North America is the most difficult market to predict as policy vacuums loom in both the U.S. and Canada post- 2016.
‘Looking ahead to the UN climate summit in Paris at the end of the year, we call on governments to wake up to the renewable energy revolution in the power sector and set ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,’ concludes Sawyer.