Wind power "’ still
climbing, but at
a slower rate
Bonn, Germany --- ESI-AFRICA.COM --- 07 June 2011 - Despite gaining 37GW last year to reach a total of 196GW "’ 2.5% of global electricity supply "’ global installation of wind power capacity has slowed down.

In 2010 the total installed global wind capacity reached some 196.63MW, showing sustained growth on 2009's 159,05MW, 2008's 120,903MW, and 2007's 93,930MW.

Despite this impressive increase, investment in new turbines in fact saw a decline in many parts of the world. For the first time in more than two decades the turbine market fell against the previous year to 37,642MW in 2010, down from38,312MW in 2009.

Global turnover for the sector reached US$55 billion in 2010, down 20% on the US$70 billion in 2009. This decrease was largely due to lower prices for wind turbines.

China accounted for more than half of the world wind energy market in 2010. In fact if China were excluded, the offshore sector would have shrunk by one third from 24,512MW to just 18,714MW. Still, installed wind capacity has more than doubled every third year "’ a trend which continues even in the face of the downturn.

Last year a total of 83 countries, one more than in 2009, used wind for electricity generation and 52 countries increased their total installed capacity, up from the 49 in the previous year.

Offshore wind capacity continued to grow in 2010 and was apparent in 12 countries, 10 of which were in Europe. Japan and China were the other two. The total global installed offshore wind capacity reached 3,117.6MW, of which 1,161.7MW was added in 2010, representing a growth rate of 59%.

The total global installed wind capacity at the end of 2010 could potentially contribute 430 TWh annually, representing 2.5 percent of total global demand.

In spite of the need to reinforce national and international policies and to accelerate the deployment of wind power, the appetite for investment in wind power is strong and there are many projects in the pipeline. Further substantial growth can especially be expected in China, India, Europe and North America.

High growth rates can also be expected in several Latin American and new Asian and Eastern European markets. In the mid-term, some of the African countries will also see major investment.

Based on the current growth rates, the WWEA has revised its expectations for the future growth of the global wind capacity. It says that in 2015, a global capacity of 600GW is possible, and by the end of year 2020, at least 1500GW can be expected to be installed globally.