The wind industry added over 52,000 megawatts of wind power in 2017, according to a report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).
While that figure represents a decrease compared to 2016, when 54,600 MW were installed, the GWEC said it expected the world market to grow again in 2019 and 2020.
China was last year’s wind energy powerhouse, installing a whopping 19,700 MW, while the European Union added 15,600 MW of capacity — its best ever year. The U.S. installed a little over 7,00 MW of capacity, Kallanish Energy understands.
Steve Sawyer, secretary-general of the GWEC, said in a statement Wednesday wind power was “leading the charge in the transition away from fossil fuels.”
“Both onshore and offshore, wind power is key to defining a sustainable energy future,” Sawyer added.
Cumulative capacity reached 539,000 MW by the end of 2017, an increase of 11% compared to 2016.
Looking ahead, the GWEC said the wind sector would return to “dramatic growth” in 2019, with cumulative capacity set to reach 840,000 MW by 2022.
“We have a booming new market in Argentina, a return to form in South Africa, Mexico on the verge of dramatic growth, and a powerhouse building in India,” Sawyer said. “We see huge potential just beginning to be realized in Russia, Vietnam and even Saudi Arabia.”
He added offshore wind power was “spreading like wildfire across the globe” as a result of Europe’s patient and pioneering efforts to “bring the technology to cost-competitiveness.”
Worldwide, 157,000 MW of renewable power was commissioned last year.