According to reports, driven by China and India, the global wind energy industry saw a capacity addition of 40.5 gw of new wind power during 2011, registering a growth of six per cent over 2010. While global wind industry is forecast to add over 46 gw during 2012, the overall wind power capacity in the world is expected to be less than 500 gw by 2016, with an annual capacity addition market touching about 60 gw.
“The main drivers of growth in the global market, as they have been for the past several years, are the Asian powerhouses of China and India. While the era of double and triple digit growth in China’s wind market may be over for the time being, it still represented about 43 per cent of the global market, and India posted yet another year of record installations; the two countries together accounted for 50 per cent of the global market in 2011,” according to annual market update 2011 of Global Wind Energy Council.
The global wind power market recovered somewhat in 2011, thanks to a strong year in a number of national markets. The market grew by about six per cent compared to 2010, and the 40.5 GW of new wind power brought on line last year represents investments of more than 50 billion euros (about $68 billion). The total wind installed capacity stood at about 239 GW globally by the end of 2011.
China installed nearly 18 gw for the second year running, but for the first time in nearly a decade, there wasn’t double or triple digit growth. It seems that Chinese wind market is entering a consolidation phase, to work out some of the issues created by its tremendous growth. The Indian market passed the 2 gw milestone for the first time in 2010, and the 3 gw milestone in 2011. India is now the largest growth market in volume terms, and that seems set to continue, at least for another few years. China, USA, India and Germany together accounted for 72 per cent of new capacity addition in 2011.
For the second year running, the majority of new installations were outside the OECD and this trend will no doubt continue. Asia will continue to be the world’s largest market with far more new installations than any other region, installing 118 gw between now and 2016, and surpassing Europe as the world leader in cumulative installed capacity sometime during 2013, ending the period with about 200 gw in total.