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Global wind rises 12.5% in 2013

Total capacity 318,137MW but annual market down 10GW, GWEC claims

Global wind rises 12.5% in 2013 image

Global wind capacity grew 12.5% to 318,137MW in 2013, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

Despite notching an increase of almost 200,000MW in the past five years, however, the Global Wind Statistics 2013 report reveals the annual market dropped by almost 10GW to 35,467MW.

While 2013 marked another difficult year for the industry with ‘only’ 12.5% cumulative growth, the “prospects for 2014 and beyond look much brighter”, the body added.

“Outside of Europe and the US the global market grew modestly last year, led by China and an exceptionally strong year in Canada,” said GWEC secretary general Steve Sawyer.

“While the policy hiatus in the US hit our 2013 figures hard, the good news is that projects under construction in the US totalled more than 12,000MW at year-end, a new record. European installations were off by a modest 8% but with an unhealthy concentration of the market in just two countries, Germany and the UK.”

GWEC said strong installation figures from China suggest the consolidation phase for the Chinese industry which began after the peak year of 2010 seems to be over.

“China is a growth market again, which is good news for the industry. The government’s commitment to wind power has been reinforced once again by raising the official target for 2020 to 200GW, and the industry has responded,” said Sawyer.

Elsewhere, GWEC notes that India has a new national ‘Wind Mission’, Brazil booked 4.7GW of new projects in 2013 and Mexico’s electricity sector reform is “set to ignite the market in the coming years”.

While only chalking up 90MW in installations in 2013, Africa is expected to boom with new installations in 2014 led by South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

“Non-OECD markets are pretty healthy on the whole and there is a steady stream of new markets emerging in Africa, Asia and Latin America. With the US apparently back on track, at least for the next two years, the main challenge is stabilising the European markets, both onshore and offshore, which have been rocked by political dithering over the past few years,” Sawyer added.

GWEC expects installations in 2014 to at least return to 2012 levels and probably surpass them. Its annual five-year forecast (2014 to 2018) will be issued in April.

The Global Wind Statistics 2013 document is available here.

Image: Africa is expected to boom in 2014 (

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