Global Wind’s Remarkable Growth in 2014

On April 1, 2015, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) released its leading publication, the Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update, which gave a detailed report of global wind’s exceptional growth for 2014. During the reported year, there were over 50 GW of wind power installation which brings the aggregate installed capability worldwide to almost 370 GW.

This remarkable growth is attributed by Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the GWEC, to two factors; first, its competitive pricing, and second; because it is a solution to the suffocating smog that is rendering a lot of cities in the developed world unlivable at the same time it increases energy stability and security.

Last year, China led the world in the installation of new wind power facilities. It installed a total of 23 GW of wind power to bring its accumulated installed capacity to over 114 GW. Another country that made a mark in wind power capability is Brazil. With a 5.9 GW installation for 2014, it moved up to 4th place in the world’s largest wind power market. For the first time, Brazil joined the rank of the top 10 in aggregate rankings. Other countries that had good years in 2014 are Turkey, Canada, Chile and Germany while the African market kicked off that year.

According to Sawyer, after a dismal showing in 2013, the US market improved in 2014 and has shown signs that the good performance will continue in the next two years. Because of some ambiguity in the government’s policy with regards wind power, the fate of the wind industry in the years after 2016 is uncertain. The Canadian market is also expected to be strong in the next two years, but after 2015, the future also looms dim because of policy uncertainty.

The GWEC projects that in 2015, installation capacity will surpass the 50 GW of 2014, maybe even reaching 60 GW annually by year 2018. China is also expected to continue being on the lead and could even reach its target of 200 GW in 2020 ahead of time. It is being anticipated that the Indian market will have a substantial growth in the years to come while Latin America will become a robust regional market with Brazil taking the lead closely followed by Mexico.

Sawyer has high expectations of the African market. In 2014, almost 1 GW was installed in the region for the first time, and is expected to top the 1GW mark this year. The leading countries on wind power in the Africa market are Morocco, Egypt and South Africa, but the GWEC expects more new markets to open in the region in the years ahead making it the fastest growing regional market.

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