OPINION: Steve Sawyer of GWEC

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Last year was an unusual one for the wind industry. For the first time since 2009 — and perhaps for the last time — the majority of the global market was inside the OECD.

The extraordinary boom year in the US, coupled with an unexpectedly strong showing in Europe and the smallest Chinese market since 2009, are a set of circumstances unlikely to be repeated.

Asia was still the largest market, and is likely to remain so indefinitely. A year or two of consolidation of the Chinese market will see it emerge stronger than ever, and even in this “down” year, wind surpassed nuclear to become China’s third-biggest source of electricity. The New Energy Administration estimates that the country will add 18GW again in 2013, but will it grow by much more than that?