Wind Energy, a Global Look

2013 ended with some uncertainty as the slowdown in the wind industry continued.  However, 2014 provided much optimism in this market. According to the global wind market statistics by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) there was a 44% increase in the annual market as 51,473 MW of new wind generating capacity was added globally.  This brought the total cumulative installations to 369,597 MW when 2014 ended.

Asia was a clear front runner in installed wind power capacity at the end of 2014, followed closely by Europe and then North America.  Let’s take a closer look at the breakdown in these markets.

ASIA

With almost 81% of the wind power capacity, China is far and away the leader in the wind industry in Asia. In fact, according to GWEC, at the end of 2014 China had 31% of the world’s installed wind power capacity. That places China as the largest with regards to installed wind power capacity.

India, with just under 16% of the installed capacity in Asia comes in second for that continent. Although somewhat newer to the wind industry market than some of the other global players, India has the 5th largest installed wind power capacity in the world. New government initiatives on renewable energy have projections strong for India over the next 5 years, and beyond.

EUROPE

With just over 22% of the installed wind capacity in Europe at the end of 2014, Germany is the leader for this continent. Additionally, Germany has the 3rd largest installed wind power capacity in the world.  Germany enjoyed a 15.4% growth in capacity from 2013 to 2014 and projections are for a similar growth in 2015, continuing Germany’s status of leader within Europe’s wind market.

Spain holds the position of the 4th largest installed wind power capacity worldwide and runs a close second to Germany with slightly over 17% of Europe’s installed wind capacity.  This is in spite of a very small growth in capacity of less than 1% for Spain from 2013 to 2014.

NORTH AMERICA

The United States is easily the 2nd largest in installed wind capacity and, as of the end of 2014, had 84% of the total wind capacity in North America.  Canada takes the #2 spot for North America with 12.4% of the capacity, and is ranked #7 in capacity worldwide. According to GWEC, projections are strong for North American in 2015 & 2016 but projecting beyond that is difficult due to uncertainty with regards to policy and potential changes within the US Congress.

HONORABLE MENTION

Although not in the top 5 world leaders of wind power capacity, Brazil does deserve an honorable mention. They experienced a 71.3% growth from 2013 to 2014 in their installed capacity, and they aren’t projected to be slowing down. This growth brought Brazil to the spot of 10th largest with regards to installed wind capacity. According to GWEC when discussing Brazil, “wind will likely surpass gas in terms of installed capacity by the end of 2017, and assume its place as the ‘No. 2’ power source in the country”.

A chart provided by GWEC provides a detailed breakdown of the additions in 2014 and the total installed capacity of each country.  That chart can be accessed here: http://tinyurl.com/nna8snm

CanWEA will hold their Annual Conference and Exhibition in Toronto, Canada from October 5-7, 2015.  There will be a session at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct 7th providing an International Market Overview with various international representatives. More information on this session and the conference as a whole can be found here: http://windenergyevent.ca/program/.