There will always be market vagaries, but wind remains strong and positive



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5 MINUTES | The global wind power industry looks hale, with 54GW added in 2016 and expectations of an annual 75GW market from 2021, says GWEC chief Steve Sawyer

The wind industry added a further 54GW of plant to the grid around the world last year, with turbines in more than 90 countries making up a generating base of 486.8GW, according to the Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC’s) latest Global Wind Market Report, which also forecasts a market set to expand to 75GW by 2021 as worldwide installed capacity moves past the 800GW mark. Darius Snieckus spoke with GWEC secretary general Steve Sawyer.

New records were set again last year by the global wind industry and almost 30 countries now have at least 1GW of wind capacity producing – along with nine in the 10GW ‘club’. What is your appraisal?

The industry is looking pretty solid. Europe is steady in its growth. As a region there has actually been an increase of a good few megawatts, and that was with offshore wind down, so that is good news for gigawatts to come in the near- and medium-term.

In the Americas, the US is strong, with 18.5GW in construction, Canada is off a bit from the 1.3GW installed in each of the last few years, Mexico is looking like it will have its first 1,000MW year this year.

Brazil will do another 2GW but then there is a very big question mark, and Argentina and Chile are both on the grow. 

In Asia Pacific, we don’t expect much from Japan, Korea, Vietnam and a few others, and China will grow a little but not a great deal – curtailment is still at 17%, and they need power system reform [very urgently].