Insights from the Global Wind Energy Council 2016 Outlook

Renewable Energy World

A new report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) — Global Wind Energy Outlook 2016 — forecasts highly promising growth for wind power capacity around the world going into the future.

The report highlights that the global wind industry underwent a record year through 2015, closing with annual installations of 63 GW and total installed capacity of some 433 GW.

Exhibiting 17 percent increase over the previous year, wind power was the most popular choice for new generating capacity. Globally, almost $110 billion was invested in new wind power development.

GWEC reported Asia is the world’s largest regional wind market, with an overall total installed capacity of 175.8 GW.

On a national level, China leads the wind industry, with cumulative wind power installations (145 GW) at the end of 2015 greater than all European Union countries combined (141.6 GW). (See, ‘Another Strong Year for China’s Wind Industry’.)

While 28 countries now have a wind power capacity greater than 1 GW installed, eight countries now have more than 10 GW installed.

Global Potential

The report provides forecasts for future wind capacity in 2050 varying from a conservative 2,870 GW under the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) New Policies Scenario, to its most ambitious 5,806 GW under the GWEC Advanced Scenario.

Under the GWEC Advanced Scenario, wind power is projected to provide at least 36 percent global electricity demand in 2050.

The GWEC Advanced Scenario is based around ambitious growth rates being maintained through until the end of the decade, and assumes that a “broad, clear commitment to the decarbonization of the electricity sector emerges quickly with the ratification of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement”.

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