2019: Second-Biggest Year of Installed Wind Energy

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2019 was the second-biggest year for wind power, with installations of 60.4 GW of new capacity worldwide and year-over-year growth of 19%, according to a recently released report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

The total capacity for wind energy globally is now over 651 GW, an increase of 10% compared to 2018. China and the U.S. remain the world’s largest onshore wind markets, together accounting for more than 60% of new capacity in 2019.

The main driver of this growth was market-based mechanisms, with auctioned wind capacity in 2019 surpassing 40 GW worldwide, accounting for two-thirds of total new capacity and doubling auctioned capacity compared to 2018.

The majority of wind energy installations in 2019 were located in established markets, with the top five markets – China, the U.S., the U.K., India and Spain – accounting for 70% of new capacity. In terms of cumulative installations, China, the U.S., Germany, India and Spain remain the top markets, collectively making up 73% of the total 651 GW of wind power capacity across the world, according to 15th edition of GWEC’s Global Wind Report.  

“The wind energy sector is continuing to see consistent growth, after establishing itself as a cost-competitive energy source worldwide,” says Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC.

“China and the U.S. accounted for nearly 60 percent of new installations, however, we see emerging markets in regions such as Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa playing an increasingly important role in the years to come, while offshore wind is also becoming a significant growth driver,” he adds.

Looking to offshore wind, 2019 was a record year for the sector, with 6.1 GW installed and now accounting for 10% of total wind installations globally. This growth was led by China, which remains in the number-one position for new offshore capacity, with 2.3 GW installed in 2019. In terms of cumulative offshore wind capacity, the U.K. remains in the top spot with 9.7 GW, accounting for nearly one-third of the 29.1 GW of total global capacity.

The report forecasts that this growth will continue, with over 355 GW of wind energy capacity potentially added over the next five years. This would mean that we would see 71 GW of wind energy added each year to the end of 2024, with offshore wind expanding its share of total wind energy installations to 20% by that time.

GWEC’s full Global Wind Report is available for download here.

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