Globally,10.5 gigawatts (GW) of wind power capacity was added in 2021, of which 8GW was in China.
China built three times as much offshore wind-farm capacity as the rest of the world put together during 2021 – and figures show wide disparities between European nations’ rates of wind farm construction.
Updated information from the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows that during 2021, China provided more than three-quarters of the world’s added capacity in offshore wind-power generation. A global total of 10.5 gigawatts (GW) capacity was added, of which 8GW was in China.
The IEA’s figures also show that only three European nations added offshore wind capacity during 2021: Denmark (0.6GW), the UK (0.5GW) and the Netherlands (0.4GW).
The huge boost in China’s capacity is detailed in the IEA’s Renewables 2021 report. One major factor cited is the country’s favorable feed-in tariffs, incentives that expired at the end of the year. Reports suggest as many as 10 new Chinese offshore wind farms of 0.3GW or higher capacity were completed in December alone.
It also means China has now overtaken the UK as having the world’s leading capacity for offshore wind power. IEA figures put China’s total capacity at 17GW – meaning the country more than doubled its scope during 2021. The UK capacity now stands at 11GW.
The UK still leads the way in Europe, with only Germany (7.5GW) coming close. Other European nations in the IEA’s total capacity figures include the Netherlands (3GW), Belgium (2.3GW), Denmark (2.3GW) and Sweden (0.2GW).