Wind power will be the second biggest contributor to global renewable electricity generation by 2017, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Despite economic uncertainties in many countries, global power generation from renewable sources, including wind, will increase by more than 40% to almost 6,400 TWh – roughly the equivalent of one-and-a-half times current electricity production in the U.S, the IEA finds.
This is the first time the IEA has devoted a medium-term report to renewable power sources, and the agency says this is "a recognition of the dynamic and increasing role of renewable energy in the global power mix." It forecasts that renewable electricity generation will expand by 1,840 TWh between 2011 and 2017, almost 60% above the 1,160 TWh growth registered between 2005 and 2011.
By 2017, onshore and offshore wind power should make the largest contribution to global renewable electricity generation, after hydro, at 16.7%. Between 2011 and 2017, wind power should grow on average by 100 TWh per year – an increase of 15.6%, says the IEA. Onshore wind power will account for 90% of this growth, as its capacity will rise from 230 GW to over 460 GW during that period.
China will lead capacity growth in onshore wind, says the IEA, adding 104 GW between 2011 and 2017. The U.S. – despite the uncertainty of the federal production tax credit – should add 27 GW over this period, while India is predicted to increase capacity by 17 GW, Brazil by 8 GW and the U.K. by 7 GW.
The IEA forecasts that offshore wind capacity growth will be led by China with a rise of 6.7 GW, the U.K. with an increase of 5.3 GW, Germany with additional capacity of 3.8 GW and France with an increase of 1.5 GW.