The world is on course for 800 GW of wind energy capacity by 2021

By Nell Walker
The proliferation of wind energy into the global power market continues at a furious pace, after it was revealed that more than 54 GW of clean renewa...

The proliferation of wind energy into the global power market continues at a furious pace, after it was revealed that more than 54 GW of clean renewable wind power was installed across the global market last year – and the latest research suggests that overall capacity could reach 800GW within the next five years.

The market itself is growing too, with over 90 countries now using renewable wind power, including nine with more than 10,000 MW installed, and 29 which have now passed the 1,000 MW mark.

These figures have all come from the The Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC) flagship publication Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update, which also confirmed that cumulative capacity has grown by 12.6 percent over the past year, to reach a total of 486.8 GW.

Wind power penetration levels continue to increase, led by Denmark pushing 40 percent, followed by Uruguay, Portugal and Ireland with well over 20 percent, and Spain and Cyprus at around 20 percent.

The big markets of China, the US and Canada get 4 percent, 5.5 percent, and 6 percent of their power from wind, respectively but growth is expected to be led in Asia. Indeed, India set a new record for installations this past year but it is China which will continue to lead all markets, according to the report.

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 and that will bring the total capacity of all installations to over 800 GW by the end of that year.

GWEC Secretary General Steve Sawyer, reckons the future is looking bright.  He said: "Wind power is now successfully competing with heavily-subsidised incumbents across the globe, building new industries, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and leading the way towards a clean energy future.

"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.

"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.”

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