The worldwide wind energy capacity reached 336,327 MW by the end of June 2014, out of which 17,613 MW were added in the first six months of 2014.
This increase is a substantially higher than in the first half of 2013 and 2012, when 13,9 GW respectively 16,4 GW were added.
All wind turbines installed worldwide by mid-2014 can generate around 4% of the world’s electricity demand.
The global wind power capacity grew by 5,5% within six months (after 5 % in the same period in 2013 and 7,3 % in 2012) and by 13,5 % on an annual basis (mid-2014 compared with mid-2013).
In comparison, the annual growth rate in 2013 was lower (12,8 %).
Reasons for the relatively positive development of the worldwide wind energy markets are certainly the economic advantages of wind power, after all its increasing competitiveness, and the pressing need to go for emission free technologies in order to mitigate climate change and air pollution.
Still the five traditional wind energy countries, China, USA, Germany, Spain and India, represent together a share of 72% of the global wind power capacity. Also in terms of new capacity, the share of the Big Five in new capacity increased from 57 % to 62%. However, the Spanish market has not at all contributed to this, as it has come to a complete standstill, with only 0,1 MW of new installations in 2014 until June.
The Chinese wind market showed a very strong performance and added 7,2 GW, substantially more than in the previous years. China reached a total wind capacity of 98 GW in June 2014 and has now certainly crossed the 100 GW.
Germany performed strongly as well, adding 1,8 GW within the rst half year. Part of this new record is due to the anticipated changes in the renewable energy legislation, which may lead to a slow-down of the German market in the coming years.
For the first time, Brazil has entered the top markets by becoming the third largest market for new wind turbines, representing 7% of all new wind turbine sales. With this, Brazil has been able to extend its undisputed leadership in Latin America.
India kept clearly its position as Asian number two and worldwide number ve, with 1,1 GW of new wind capacity.
The US market, after its collapse in 2013, showed strong signs of recovery, with a market size of 835 MW, slightly ahead of Canada (723 MW), Australia (699 MW) and the United Kingdom which halved its market size and installed 649 MW in the first half of 2014.
Similar like in 2013, four countries installed more than 1 GW in the rst half of 2014: China (7,1 GW of new capacity), Germany (1,8 GW), Brazil (1,3 GW) and India (1,1 GW).
The top ten wind energy countries show a similar picture in the first half of 2014, although on a slightly higher performance basis: Five countries performed stronger than in 2013: China, USA, Germany, France and Canada. Five countries saw a decreasing market: Spain, UK, Italy, Denmark and, to a lesser degree, India. Spain and Italy saw practically a total standstill, with only 0,1 MW and 30 MW respectively of new capacity installed. Poland is now in the list of top 15 countries by installed capacity while Japan dropped out.
Dynamic Markets to be found on all Continents. It is important to notice that for the first time, the most dynamic markets can be found on all continents: The ten largest markets for new wind turbines included next to China, India and Germany: Brazil (1,301 MW), USA (835 MW), Canada (723 MW), Australia (699 MW), UK (649 MW), Sweden (354 MW) and Poland (337 MW). New wind farms have also been installed in South Africa and further African countries, so that this continent has obviously entered the race to catch up with the rest of the world.
Asia: New leader on total installed capacity. With 36,9 % of the global installed capacity, Asia is now the continent with more wind energy installations than Europe, which accounts for 36,7 %. Again in 2014, China has been by far the largest single wind energy market, adding 7,2 GW in six months, signicantly more than in the previous year, when 5,5 GW were erected.
China accounted for 41 % of the world market for new wind turbines. By June 2013, China had an overall installed capacity of 98,6 GW, almost reaching the 100 GW mark.
India added 1,1 GW, a bit less than in the rst half of 2013. However, considering new and ambitious plans of the new Indian government, the Indian wind energy market has very positive prospects.
Two other potentially major markets, the Japan and the Korea, are still growing at very modest rates, with both countries showing growth rates of less than 2 % in the first half of 2014. Unfortunately in both countries the nuclear lobby has still managed to prevent the breakthrough for wind power, in spite of its economic and industrial advantages.
Germany is still the unchallenged number one wind energy market in Europe, with a new capacity of 1,8 GW and a total of 36,5 GW. UK (649 MW new), Sweden (354 MW new) and France (338 MW new) belong to the ve biggest European markets as well, while Spain and Italy saw dramatic decreases to almost zero.
The future of wind power in the Europe will also depend on the decision by the European Union about renewable energy targets for 2030. However, the current crisis around Ukraine is rather strengthening the case of renewable energy proponents as it suggests that the European countries should increase its energy autarky by an increased use of domestic renewable energy sources.
The US market has recovery from the dramatic slump in the first half of 2013, adding 835 MW
between January and June 2014, after 1,6 MW a year ago. It is expected, due to the improved
competitiveness of wind power and its increasing support, that the market will further recover in the second half of 2014 and in the year 2015.
Canada installed 723 MW during the first half of 2014, 92 % more than in the previous period of 2013, becoming the sixth largest market for new wind turbines worldwide. The victory of the
pro-renewables proponents in the elections in the largest province Ontario gives hope that this positive tendency will continue, in spite of rather negative signals on the federal level.
The biggest Latin American markets, Brazil, has become 13th largest wind energy market worldwide, after installing 1,3 GW in rst half of 2014 and reaching a total capacity of 4,7 GW, with a growth
rate of 38,2 % just during the first half of 2014. With this impressive growth, the country has become the third largest market for new wind turbines, after China and Germany, and still ahead of the US and India. Brazil is expected to reach the 5 GW mark by September 2014 and to enter the list of top 10 countries with more installed capacity by the end of 2014.
Other Latin American countries are emerging as wind power markets as well, however, on a much lower level.
Positive developments happened in Australia whose wind energy market installed additional 699 MW, equalling a 23% growth in comparison with end of 2013, similar like in 2011 and 2012. However, due to the most recent, very dramatic switch of the new Australian government, it has to be
expected that this boom will not continue in the near future. No new wind farms have been registered in New Zealand.
Worldwide prospects for end of the year 2014 and beyond
In the second half of 2014, an additional capacity of 24 GW is expected to be erected worldwide, which would bring new annual installations to 41 GW. The total installed wind power capacity is expected to reach 360 GW by the end of this year 2014, enough to provide 4 % of the global electricity demand.
The mid-term prospects for wind power investment remain positive. Although it is not clear whether the world community will be able to reach a strong climate agreement in 2015, wind has now reached a level of competitiveness and reliability, which makes it a natural option for governments, electricity producers as well as consumers around the world.