Global Wind Energy Insight: A 2017 Mid-Year Update

Renewable Energy World

According to the latest Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) figures, clean energy investments during second quarter of 2017 reached US$64.8 billion globally, up 21 percent from the first quarter this year. Of that amount, wind energy accounted for US$26.2 billion in new investments over the second quarter.

Across key individual markets, there are nearly 14 GW of wind capacity under construction, as the U.S. wind industry begins building the huge pipeline of projects that qualified last year for the full production tax credit, according to new figures from the American Wind Energy Association. The year-to-date tally stands around 2.4 GW.

In Europe, just over 6 GW of wind energy capacity was added in the first half of 2017, according to figures released by WindEurope. The figure puts Europe on course for a solid year for installations. India is having a strong year. It is likely to exceed installation figures for 2016. By the end of June 2017, the market saw just over 3.8 GW in new capacity, bringing the cumulative installed capacity to 32.5 GW.

China will likely continue to lead the national tally in 2017 too. In January China's National Energy Administration set a mandatory clean energy target for meeting 20 percent of China's energy needs by 2030. China has pledged to invest CNY 2.5 trillion (~ US$367 billion) in renewables-based generation by 2020.

Recently Saudi Arabia, a fossil fuel producing country, moved a step closer toward the construction of its first utility-scale wind power project. This step was taken in line with the country’s plan to produce 10 percent of its power from renewable energy by 2023. The Saudi Arabian energy ministry asked potential bidders and plant developers to submit their qualifications to build the 400-MW project at Dumat Al Jandal in the Al Jouf region.

2017’s second quarter saw two large offshore wind arrays financed in Europe. These include the 200-MW Borkum West II and 112-MW Albatros projects in Germany’s waters, at US$918 million and US$532 million. Other top project deals of the quarter were two Chinese 300-MW offshore wind arrays, namely the Three Gorges Dafeng and Three Gorges Zhuanghe, costing an estimated US$1.8 billion in total.

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