26 February , 2019

51.3 GW of global wind capacity installed in 2018


Wind industry installed 51.3 GW of new capacity in 2018, a decrease of 3.6% compared to 2017 (53.2 GW)
• 46.8 GW of new onshore wind capacity was installed, a decrease of 3.9% compared to 2017 (48.7 GW)
• The offshore wind market grew by 0.5%, to 4.49 GW of new installations (4.47 GW in 2017)
• Total installed wind capacity reached 591 GW at the end of 2018, an increase of 9.6% compared to the end of 2017

Brussels, 26 February: The latest data released by the Global Wind Energy Council shows that the wind energy industry installed 51.3 GW of new capacity in 2018. Since 2014, the global wind market’s growth has been stable, installing above 50 GW of new capacity each year.

Despite a 3.9% decrease in the global onshore market in annual terms, there was promise shown by growth in developing regions such as Latin America, South-East Asia and Africa which were responsible for 10% of new onshore installations in 2018 (4.8 GW).

New installations of 4.49 GW in 2018 led the global offshore market to grow by 0.5%, reaching a total installed capacity of 23 GW. For the first time, China installed more offshore capacity than any other market (1.8 GW), followed by the United Kingdom (1.3 GW) and Germany (0.9 GW). GWEC forecasts that offshore wind will become an increasingly global market. If governments remain committed, and projects and investments continue, annual installations in Asia could reach 5 GW or more each year. In the US, GWEC expects the developing offshore wind market to reach 1 GW by 2022 – 2023.

GWEC forecasts that new installations will reach 55 GW or more each year until 2023. Stable volume will come from mature regions in Europe and the US, whilst significant growth is forecast to be driven by developing markets in South East Asia and the global offshore market.

Total installed wind capacity reached 591 GW at the end of 2018, a growth of 9.6% compared to the end of 2017. Total installed onshore wind grew by 9%, whilst total offshore wind grew by 20%, reaching 23 GW.

Ben Backwell, CEO of GWEC, said: “2018 was a positive year for wind in all major markets, with China leading both onshore and offshore growth. We expect huge growth in Asia through the coming decade and beyond as part of the continuing shift from Europe to Asia as the driving region for wind development. However, government support and policy are key to enabling faster market growth in key regions such as South East Asia.”

Karin Ohlenforst, Director of Market Intelligence at GWEC, said: “Since 2014, the global wind industry has added more than 50GW of new capacity each year and we expect 55 GW or more to be added each year until 2023. In particular, the offshore market will grow on a global scale and will reach up to 7 to 8GW of new capacity during 2022 and 2023.”

These latest figures released by GWEC form the statistical release of the Global Wind Report. The Global Wind Report is GWEC’s flagship publication and the most widely used source of data for industry and governments. This report provides a comprehensive snapshot of the global wind industry and an overview of trends such as the growth of offshore wind, corporate sourcing and changing business models. The full report will be released on 3 April. 

GWEC will host a webinar about the key findings of the report on April 8, 2019 at 3pm CET, to attend the webinar, you can register here


Top onshore markets in 2018:

  1. China – 21,200 MW
  2. USA – 7,588 MW
  3. Germany – 2,402 MW
  4. India – 2,191 MW
  5. Brazil – 1,939 MW
  6. France – 1,563 MW
  7. Mexico – 929 MW
  8. Sweden – 717 MW
  9. United Kingdom – 589 MW
  10. Canada – 566 MW

Top offshore markets in 2018:

  1. China – 1,800 MW
  2. United Kingdom – 1,312 MW
  3. Germany – 969 MW
  4. Belgium – 309 MW
  5. Denmark – 61 MW

Notes to editors

  • The full Global Wind Report will be released on 3 April.

About GWEC 

GWEC is a member-based organization that represents the entire wind energy sector. The members of GWEC represent over 1,500 companies, organizations and institutions in more than 80 countries, including manufacturers, developers, component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies. See https://gwec.net/  

For more information, please contact: 

Olivia Thornton 
H+K Strategies 
T +44 207 413 3711 

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