GWEC: Wind Industry Stands Strong During Pandemic

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Despite the impacts of COVID-19, 71.3 GW of wind power capacity is expected to be installed this year, which is only a 6% reduction from pre-COVID forecasts, according to the latest market outlook published by GWEC Market Intelligence.

This is a significant increase from original predictions that expected wind power installations to be reduced by up to 20% due to the pandemic, demonstrating the resilience of the wind power industry across the globe. 

“While the COVID-19 crisis has impacted every industry across the world, wind power has continued to grow and thrive,” says Ben Backwell, CEO of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). “This is no surprise given the cost competitiveness of wind energy and the need to rapidly reduce carbon emissions. Fossil fuel industries face market fluctuations and require bailouts to stay afloat, while wind turbines across the world have continued to spin and provide affordable, clean energy to citizens everywhere.”

From 2020 to 2024, the cumulative global wind energy market will grow at a compound annual rate of 8.5% and installing 348 GW of new capacity, bringing total global wind power capacity to nearly 1,000 GW by the end of 2024, which is an increase of 54% for total wind power installations compared to 2019. While some project completion dates have been pushed into 2021 due to the pandemic, next year is expected to be a record year for the wind industry with 78 GW of new wind capacity forecasted to be installed. Over 50% of the onshore wind capacity added between 2020 to 2024 will be installed in China and the U.S., led by installation rushes to meet subsidy deadlines.

The offshore wind sector has been largely shielded from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis – GWEC Market Intelligence has increased its forecast for offshore wind by 5% to 6.5 GW of new installations this year, another record year for the industry, led by the installation rush in China. Up until 2024, over 48 GW of new offshore wind capacity is expected to be installed, with another 157 GW forecasted to be installed from 2025 to 2030.

The full updated market outlook is available exclusively for GWEC Members on the GWEC Market Intelligence Platform. GWEC Market Intelligence will update its Market Outlook during Q1 2021 along with the market data for this year as part of the Global Wind Report in 2021.

Photo: GWEC’s landing page

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