GWEC report: 54 GW of wind capacity installed in 2016, Denmark leads


Denmark leads globally in wind energy installation, with 40 percent penetration, said a new report released by Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

Globally more than 54 GW of wind power has been installed across the global market in 2016, which now comprises more than 90 countries, including 9 with more than 10 GW installed and 29 which have now passed 1 GW mark, the report said.

Cumulative wind capacity grew by 12.6 percent to reach a total of 486.8 GW.

“Wind power is now successfully competing with heavily subsidized incumbents across the globe, building new industries, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and leading the way towards a clean energy future” said GWEC secretary general Steve Sawyer.

“We are well into a period of disruptive change, moving away from power systems centered on a few large, polluting plants towards markets increasingly dominated by a range of widely distributed renewable energy sources. We need to get to a zero emissions power system well before 2050 if we are to meet our climate change and development goals,” Steve said.

Uruguay, Portugal, and Ireland have installed over 20 percent, while Spain and Cyprus have installed around 20 percent and Germany 16 percent. Big markets like China, the U.S., and Canada get 4, 5.5 and 6 percent of the power from wind respectively.

GWEC’s rolling five year forecast sees almost 60 GW of new wind installations in 2017, rising to an annual market of about 75 GW by 2021, to bring cumulative installed capacity of over 800 GW by the end of 2021.

The growth of wind energy will be led by Asia. China will continue to lead but India has set a new record for installations this past year and has a real shot to meet the government’s very ambitious targets for the sector, the report said.

“Offshore wind has had a major price breakthrough in the past year, and looks set to live up to the enormous potential that many have believed in for years. We see the technology continuing to improve and spread beyond its home base in Europe in the next 5-10 years”, continued Sawyer.

Despite Brazil’s political and economic woes, other countries in the region have stepped up to fill the gap, especially Uruguay, Chile and the region’s most exciting new market in Argentina.

Africa will have a big year in 2017, led by Kenya, South Africa and Morocco, and the future of wind on the continent looks bright. After a lull, the Australian market looks to come roaring back with a strong pipeline of projects to be built out over the next few years.

“Overall, we have a lot of confidence in the wind power market going forward, as the technology continues to improve, prices continue to go down and the call for clean, renewable power to reduce emissions, clean our air and create new jobs and new industries only gets stronger with each passing year”, concluded Sawyer.

Siddharth Jaiswal and Damini Juyal