The latest data released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) reveals that North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean installed 13,427 MW of wind energy capacity in 2019, an increase of 12% from 2018’s 11,892 MW of installations.
Total installed wind capacity in the three Americas and the Caribbean is now over 148 GW. The swell of wind power in the Americas is expected to continue, with GWEC forecasting the addition of over 220 GW of new capacity between 2020 to 2024. In North America, new capacity additions grew by nearly 18% compared to 2018. In Central America, South America and the Caribbean, new capacity additions decreased by 5% compared to 2018.
In North America, the U.S. installed nearly 10 GW of capacity. This was driven primarily by the Production Tax Credit (PTC) phase-out and is expected to continue driving installations in 2020. In Central and South America and the Caribbean, strong growth has occurred in key markets, such as Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.
“It is encouraging to see that installation levels for wind energy in the Americas are continuing to rise. However, policymakers need to be doing more to accelerate these volumes and take advantage of the full potential wind power has to offer,” says Ben Backwell, CEO of GWEC.
“Meanwhile, the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China continues to constitute a threat to the industry. Tariffs on steel and aluminum, which make up about 90% of wind turbines, put price pressure on the U.S. supply chain and risk increasing the price of wind power projects by as much as 10 percent,” adds Backwell.
GWEC is a member-based organization that represents the entire wind energy sector. The members of GWEC represent over 1,500 companies, organizations and institutions in more than 80 countries. Members include manufacturers, developers, component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies.
Photo: A wind turbine being installed in Latin America.