MAKE Consulting says 2013 was a challenging year, with a meager addition of 34.5 GW of grid-connected wind capacity worldwide – a decline of 26% compared to 2012. However, the company projects that the global wind power market is poised for growth.
According to a new MAKE report, the global market will add 51GW on average from 2014 to 2017 as many traditional markets fulfil expiring policy mechanisms. Furthermore, the company says the market will grow 5% on average annually from 2018 to 2023 as the industry transitions into new support mechanisms, wind power becomes the cheapest power source through technology innovation, and emerging markets mature to provide steady growth.
MAKE says the U.S. market – which was one of the primary influencers for low global demand last year – will recover and make 2014 a record year for wind power growth. The report notes that the U.S. accounted for 23% of firm turbine order volume in the fourth quarter of 2013 as developers complied with expiring incentives.
Backed by neighboring Brazil, where previously erected capacity is expected to be grid-connected, the Americas will support an expected 40% year-over-year increase in capacity – resulting in a "market correction" of more than 48 MW after the downturn in 2013.
In the long term, MAKE says gains in wind power's levelized cost of energy combined with the maturation of emerging markets in the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa will contribute to escalating growth beyond 2020. Led by countries such as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Russia, emerging markets are expected to grow over twice as fast as the traditional top global markets.
With an expected 20% CAGR from 2013 to 2023, growth in the offshore wind sector remains promising, the report adds. Europe is expected to set a record for new connected offshore capacity this year, despite more moderate targets in the U.K. and Germany. MAKE adds that growth will accelerate beyond 2017, driven by strong development of China's offshore wind market.