The global wind market is expected to grow again this year, with more than 40 GW of new wind power capacity to be added, according to a five-year industry forecast published today by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). By 2015, the global installed wind power capacity will more than double to 450 GW from 194.4 GW at the end of 2010.
Included in GWEC's ‘Global Wind Report – Annual Market Update 2010,’ the forecast assumes an average growth rate of 18.2% per year, which is conservative compared to the 28% cumulative capacity growth in the sector over the last decade. By 2015, annual market additions are expected to reach 60.5 GW, up from 35.8 GW in 2010.
‘2010 was a tough year also for our industry, but 2011 is looking up,’ says Steve Sawyer, GWEC's secretary general. ‘We've paid the price for the 2008-2009 financial crisis last year, and now we're back on track.’
This assessment is underpinned by strong investments in wind power in 2010, which were up by 31% compared to the previous year, reaching a record level of $96 billion. This investment will translate into an increasing level of wind power installations in the coming years.
The main market driving growth will remain China, which in 2010 accounted for almost half of the global capacity additions (16.5 GW), underpinned by ambitious long-term government plans, supportive policies and staggering investment in the sector, according to the report.
Annual additions are expected to exceed 20 GW by 2015, which would result in China surpassing its target of installing 70 GW of new wind power in the next five years, as adopted in the government's new five-year plan. Coupled with India's steady growth, GWEC expects a total capacity of 174.6 GW to have become operational across Asia by the end of 2010.
Europe is expected to remain the second largest market throughout the five-year period, with capacity additions totaling 60 GW, bringing cumulative wind power installations up to 146.1 GW. While Germany and Spain will remain the leading markets, a larger number of other strong markets will make an increasing contribution. In addition, large-scale offshore developments are expected to account for a growing share of the new wind capacity, according to GWEC.
The North American market will remain subdued for the next two years, due to legislative uncertainty at the federal level both in the U.S. and Canada. However, GWEC expects that by 2014, the market will once again approach its 2009 size. In the next five years, the total installed capacity in the region is expected to more than double to reach 94.2 GW.
In Latin America, encouraging developments in Brazil, Mexico, Chile and elsewhere lead GWEC to expect that at the end of 2015, the total installed wind capacity will have grown to 19 GW across the region, up from just 2 GW at the end of 2010.
SOURCE: Global Wind Energy Council