2014 marked a record year for global wind power




Annual market grew by 44%, passed 50 GW for the first time in 2014

2014 was a record year for the wind industry as annual installations crossed the 50 GW mark for the first time. More than 51 GW of new wind power capacity was brought on line, a sharp rise in comparison to 2013, when global installations were just over 35.6 GW. The previous record was set in 2012 when over 45 GW of new capacity was installed globally.

In 2014 total investments in the clean energy sector reached a high of USD 310bn (EUR 277bn). The global wind sector saw investments rise 11% to a record USD 99.5bn (EUR 88.9bn[1]) during the year. This was significant growth over 2013 investment of USD 80.3bn (EUR 71.7bn[2]), and USD 80.9bn (EUR 72.3bn) in 2012[3].  

The new global total at the end of 2014 was 369.6 GW, representing cumulative market growth of more than16%, even though it is lower than the average growth rate over the last 10 years (2005-2014) of almost 23%.

At the end of 2013, the expectations for wind power market growth were uncertain, as continued economic slowdown in Europe and the political uncertainty in the US made it difficult to make projections for 2014, which we called at just over 47 GW, not anticipating the dramatic growth in the Chinese market.  

China, the largest overall market for wind since 2009, had another remarkable year, and retained the top spot in 2014. Installations in Asia again led global markets, with Europe reliably in the second spot, and North America a distant third.

A result of this was that in 2014, as in 2013, the majority of wind installations globally were outside the OECD once again. This was also the case in 2010 and 2011, and is likely to continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

By the end of 2014, the number of countries with more than 1,000 MW installed capacity was 24: including 16 in Europe[4]; 4 in Asia-Pacific (China, India, Japan & Australia); 3 in North America (Canada, Mexico, US) & 1 in Latin America (Brazil).

By the end of 2014 six countries had more than 10,000 MW of installed capacity including China (114,604 MW), the US (65,879 MW), Germany (39,165 MW), Spain (22,987 MW), India (22,465 MW) and the UK (12,440 MW).

China in 2014 crossed the 100,000 MW mark, adding another milestone to its already exceptional history of renewable energy development since 2005. Largely driven by China, Asia overtook Europe as the region with the most deployed wind capacity by the end of 2014.

Looking ahead, the picture is complex across various regions. 2015 is likely to be another good year: Europe’s framework legislation and its 2020 targets ensure a degree of stability; the US and Canada are both anticipating strong years; China is expected to continue strong; and emerging markets in Africa and Latin America are expected to continue to grow. It is after 2015 that policy uncertainty is likely to cause a downturn in North America, and perhaps elsewhere.

The political and regulatory support for wind across the two large Asian markets is on the rise. The slowdown in Asia in 2012-2013 was a result of a combination of factors, but these conditions were expected to be short-lived. In the next 4-5 years Asian dominance of global wind markets is expected to continue.

Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the US are expected to have a strong 2015. More than 934 MW came online in Africa this year. Global installations will be further aided by new projects coming on line in Japan, Australia, Pakistan, Kenya, and South Africa.

[1] http://about.bnef.com/press-releases/rebound-clean-energy-investment-2014-beats-expectations/

[2] Exchange rates used for conversion to Euro values in this section are from 03-03-15

[3] http://about.bnef.com/press-releases/clean-energy-investment-falls-for-second-year/

[4]  See http://www.ewea.org/fileadmin/files/library/publications/statistics/EWEA_Annual_Statistics_2013.pdf

Further information

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