2015 Wind-Installation Record Is Another Indicator of Growing Momentum in Global Electricity-Sector Transformation

Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis

The Global Wind Energy Council’s annual review of the wind sector in 2015 provides further evidence of the accelerating momentum in the world’s shift to a lower-emissions global economy.

GWEC reports annual installation growth of 22 percent year over year to a record 63.5 gigawatts. Cumulative global installs reached 432.9 gigawatts. This builds on record solar installations globally in 2015 and significant progress in tenergy efficiency.

The combined impacts included a decline in the global consumption of thermal coal in 2015. IEEFA expects these trends to accelerate in 2016 and beyond as technology developments continue to improve the relative cost competitiveness of low-emissions technologies and the policy headwinds to fossil fuels builds on the international climate-change agreement inked last year in Paris.

Geographically, the wind industry’s growth is skewed heavily toward the Asia-Pacific region. China installed a world record 30-32 gigawatts of wind in 2015 (the official tally varies by source and definition of when a project is formally commissioned). India was the fifth largest installer of wind globally, with installs of 2.6 gigawatts to take its total cumulative installs to 25 gigawatts. We note that the Government of India has set a target of 60 gigawatts of cumulative wind installs by 2021-22, suggesting that policy developments will more than double installs before the end of this decade.

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