With 432,419 MW in wind energy capacity installed around the world in 2015 that meant around a 22% increase compared to 2014, the global wind power industry set another record, points Steve Sawyer (GWEC CEO).
Those are just an advance of the figures and projections included in the the Global Wind Report (anual update) to be released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) on 19th April.
China and USA head the rise
The mentioned 22% increase in capacity has been driven by China and the USA in 2015.
China installed more than 30 GW, and the US 8.5 GW, with a cumulative total of 74,471 MW.
The Chinese wind capacity exceeded in 10GW the most optimistic foretell (2GWincrease) for last year included in GWEC forecast released in january 2015.
The future looks very bright for the USA wind business, with longer market visibility than it’s ever had before.
Europe also had a surprisingly strong year, led by Germany’s 6 GW while Brazil and India installed just over 2.5 GW each.
With its 2,623 MW installed in 2015, India pushed Spain into the fourth place in terms of cumulative capacity, after China, the US and Germany. In Asia Japan, South Korea and Taiwan added some new capacity as well.
Australia and the Pacific were quiet, although Australia added 380 MW to push the country’s total installations to over 4 GW.
Middle East and Africa was led by South Africa’s 483 MW market in 2015, pushing the country’s total installations over the 1 GW mark.
Jordan opened its first large commercial wind power plant in 2015, and Ethiopia added a large new plant, pushing the region’s total to 3,289 MW.
Germany did extremely well in 2015, installing over 6,013MW, followed by Poland (1,266 MW), France (1,073), the UK (975 MW) and Turkey (956 MW). There are now 16 European countries with more than 1,000 MW installed and 9 countries with more than 5,000 MW.
Canada installed 1,506 MW, pushing past the 10 GW barrier to end 2015 with 11,200 MW; and Mexico chalked up 714 MW to end the year at 3,073 MW.
Argentina emerges as new market
Despite its economic and political woes, Brazil installed a record 2,754 MW, with cumulative capacity reaching 8.7 GW. Uruguay took a giant step closer to its goal of 100% renewable energy. In 2015 316 MW were installed in this country, bringing cumulative market to 845 MW. New wind power was also added in Panama, Chile, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and Argentina.
Argentina has some of the best wind resources in the world, but tjhe goverrment headed by Cristina fernandez de Kirchner didn’t create the conditions to allow investment. Steve Sawyer points that the election of Macri as the President of Argentina has changed the perspectives for the growth both of the wind and solar energy generation capacities in this South American country.
“You’ll be hearing a lot more from us on this subject in the coming months and hopefully it won’t be too many more
years before Argentina’s wind installations start appearing in the top 10 for both annual and cumulative installations,” says GWEC CEO after his return from the GWEC first mission to Argentina held last week.
Argentina is to approve the final details of a new law structured to boost renewable energy as President Mauricio
Macri steps up his efforts to fight climate change.
The law is said that will impose fines on large users of electricity that don’t get at least 8% of their electric power from renewable sources, from 2018.
The National Director of Renewable Energies of the Mines and Energy Ministry of Argentina, Mauro Soares, advanced last week that the Argentinian Government was thinking about launching the first wind farm bidding by mid 2016 in the framework of the new Energy law 27.191, to be approved in short.
Rosy perspectives for 2016, despite some threats
Steve Sawyer forecasts a rosy 2016 for the wind energy market in 2016, despite some economic meltdown in Brazil and to some extent in South Africa.
Sawyer tells about some risks for wind energy growth this year : difficult conditions in India leading to disappointing installation rates; political disaster for onshore wind in the UK; and sinking oil prices, coal company bankruptcies and general disruption the fossil fuel sector spreading uncertaintyaccross financial markets.
GWEC CEO sees as drivers that will favor growth in the wind energy market during 2016, among others: outcomes from COP 21 bringing a better climate and mindset on renewables, the decission to extend and phase out the PTC over the next five years by the US Congress, China set objective of further reduction in the FITs by 2018, as well as the increases in wind capacity accross Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia.
Image over the headline.- Sunset on more than 200 Windturbines at Guazhou (瓜州县) wind farm, Gansu province, China. Image by Popolon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Related external links: