Renewable Energy World
The Global Wind Energy Council released its annual market statistics last week in Brussels. The 2017 market remained above 50 GW, with Europe, India and the offshore sector having record years. Chinese installations were down slightly—‘only’ 19.5 GW—but the rest of the world made up for most of that. Total installations in 2017 were 52,573 MW, bringing the global total to 539,581 MW.
Beyond the statistics, however, is the fact that wind power is in a rapid transition to becoming a fully commercialized, unsubsidized technology; successfully competing against heavily subsidized fossil and nuclear incumbents. The transition to fully commercial market-based operation has left policy gaps in some countries, and the global 2017 numbers reflect that, as will installations in 2018.
Cratering prices for both onshore and offshore wind continue to surprise. Markets in such diverse locations as Morocco, India, Mexico and Canada range in the area of US$0.03/kwh, with a recent Mexican tender coming in with prices below US$0.02. Meanwhile, offshore wind had its first ‘subsidy-free’ tender in Germany this year, with tenders for more than 1 GW of new offshore capacity receiving no more than the wholesale price of electricity.