Global wind power capacity grew 12.4% in 2013, led by China and Canada

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6 February 2014

LONDON: Cumulative global installed wind power capacity grew 12.4% in 2013 led by China and Canada, according to the Global Wind Energy Council's (GWEC) annual report which was released today.

The GWEC's 2013 market statistics show that globally we reached a total of 318 gigawatts of wind power, marking a rise of almost 200 gigawatts in the past five years.

Growth was led by China, which added a record 16 gigawatts of new capacity by the end of 2013 to total almost 91.5 gigawatts, and Canada, which beat the US to add 1.6 gigawatts in 2013.

But despite the positive data, the annual market dropped by just under 10 gigawatts to 35.5 gigawatts, owing to a dip in US installations from the policy gap created by US Congress in 2012.

Steve Sawyer, Secretary General, GWEC, said: “Outside of Europe and the US, the global market grew modestly last year, led by China and an exceptionally strong year in Canada. 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 12,000 megawatts 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."

While the 12.5% cumulative growth wasn't huge, GWEC's report also estimates that 2014's growth will be much greater, in part due to rapidly-growing markets in BRIC countries.

Sawyer added: “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 200 gigawatts, and the industry has responded. 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 stabilizing the European markets, both onshore and offshore, which have been rocked by political dithering over the past few years."

Other emerging economies to watch include India with its new national ‘Wind Mission’, and Brazil, which recorded 4.7 gigawatts of new projects in 2013, according to GWEC. It also estimates Mexico’s upcoming electricity sector reform to fuel the wind market and predicts notable growth from several African countries including South Africa.


Graph from GWEC's Global Wind Statistics 2013

By Clare Saxon

Read the report to see how countries' growth compares.

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