U.S. Wind Energy Installations Surpassed 4.7 GW Last Year: BNEF

Installations of wind power in the U.S. surged sixfold last year, making it the largest market for the technology worldwide after China.

The U.S. added 4.7 gigawatts of new onshore wind energy capacity in 2014 compared with 764 megawatts a year earlier, largely due to the extension of the Production Tax Credit in January 2013, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said today in a statement.

Total U.S. onshore wind energy installations are now 64.2 megawatts.

China remains the biggest market for wind power with installations rising a record 38 percent, or 20.7 gigawatts, from a year earlier, according to BNEF. China’s grid-connected wind energy capacity now is 96 gigawatts, more than that of the entire U.K. power fleet. Wind energy is China’s largest power source after coal and hydropower.

“This year has seen a couple of special circumstances come together so it probably isn’t a blueprint for future development,” David Hostert, European wind-energy analyst for BNEF, said in the statement. “What is remarkable though is that more than 1 gigawatt was repowered with new turbines on existing projects. This means making better use of existing wind sites and opening up new opportunities for developers and asset owners in a mature market.”

Germany installed 3.2 gigawatts in 2014, Brazil 2.7 gigawatts and India 2.3 gigawatts, according to BNEF. Both German and Brazil totals are records for their countries.