China and Latin America led the global growth in wind energy in 2014, according to the latest report published by the Global Wind Energy Council.
The council’s “2014 Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update” released recently shows wind power’s “remarkable growth” in 2014 was spurred largely by China and Brazil, followed by Mexico and South Africa.
“China installed an astonishing 23 GW of new wind power last year, bringing its cumulative total to more than 114 GW, and Brazil was the world’s 4th largest market in 2014, entering the top 10 in cumulative rankings for the first time,” the council said.
“Nobody predicted that China would install 23 GW of new wind power alone,” the report said, noting it set “another record” for the Asian giant.
“China in 2014 crossed the 100,000 MW mark, adding another milestone to its already exceptional history of renewable energy development since 2005,” the report added.
In Latin America in 2014, the wind energy market tripled in size compared with 2013, for cumulative installed capacity growth of nearly 80 percent, the report said, with Brazil leading the market at No. 4 in the world with nearly 2,500 MW installed last year, and moving into 10th place in the global cumulative rankings.
Mexico installed 633.7 MW of new capacity to reach a total of 2, 551 MW by the end of 2014, and aims to generate 35 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2024, with up to half of that target coming from wind.
Chile added “an unprecedented” 506 MW to reach a total of 836 MW in total installed capacity; Uruguay added almost 405 MW of new capacity, bringing its total installed capacity to 464 MW; Peru added almost 146 MW to reach a total of 148 MW; and Argentina added 53 MW to reach 271 MW of installed capacity last year. The Caribbean reached a total installed capacity of 250 MW across various island states by the end of 2014.
“America and the Caribbean had a stellar year,” seeing 3,749 MW of new capacity come online and bringing total installed capacity in the region to 8.5 GW, said the report.
“Wind power is reaching critical mass in a number of Latin American markets, and the region has begun developing a substantial wind power industry to complement its rich hydro and biomass (and potentially solar) resources,” the report added.
Looking ahead, the council expected China to continue leading growth in 2015, and to reach 200 GW “well ahead of the government’ s target of 2020. Brazil will do the same for Latin America, “with Mexico catching up quickly,” said the report.