Strong markets in China, India and Brazil, and new markets in Latin America, Africa and much of Asia will drive growth in the wind industry over the next five years, according to a new report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), which warns that investment in Europe could falter if renewables policies fail to offer stability.
Record installations in the US and Europe in 2012 led to installations of 44.8 GW of new wind power globally. This was 10% more than was installed in 2011, meaning that global installed capacity has now reached 282.5 GW, a cumulative increase of almost 19%.
The US wind energy industry had its strongest year ever, connecting over 13.1 GW of new wind power capacity from 190 projects, beating China to regain the top spot among global markets for the first time since 2009. Europe also had a good 12 months with 12,744 MW of wind power installed across the continent with EU countries accounting for 11,895 MW of the total.
The forecast globally is for a modest downturn in 2013, followed by a recovery in 2014 and beyond, with global capacity growing at an average rate of 13.7% until 2017, and global capacity nearly doubling to 536 GW.
However, this growth is almost certain not to be led by the old world. In 2012,