HomeFeatures/AnalysisGlobal wind energy market at the cusp of transition

Global wind energy market at the cusp of transition

A total of 51.9 GW of wind energy was installed globally in 2017, bringing the cumulative capacity to 538.3 GW. This was a 4% decrease in installed annual wind capacity from 2016, in which 54.3 GW was built.

This is according to a recent report published by Navigant Research, ‘World Wind Energy Market Update 2018’, highlights the transition made in country markets and among the competing wind turbine manufacturers.

“Capacity figures often mask policy shifts that are increasingly challenging to the wind power sector and play a role in year-over-year decreases.

“A worldwide transition has been underway for the last 2-3 years from fixed wind energy support payments like the feed-in tariff (FIT) to competitive power contract auctions and other more competitive dynamic pricing mechanisms,” the report summary noted.

With renewables prices becoming competitive, driven by both demand and R&D, the report underlines that “the resulting intense price competition is challenging for both wind plant developers and wind turbine manufacturers. The entire value chain is being squeezed.” Read more: WorleyParsons contracted for Kenya’s second largest wind farm

“This issue, however, is being met by constant advances in the wind power industry, which has achieved impressive improvements in wind plant efficiency, reductions in levelised cost of energy, and increased annual energy production per wind turbine unit.

“While challenging, these competitive policy environments will usher in more wind capacity at higher growth rates and introduce wind into markets that historically have not been willing to embrace wind power.”

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.