February 26 (Renewables Now) - Auctions around the world awarded close to 30 GW of new wind power capacity in the second half (H2) of 2020, just slightly up from 28 GW awarded in the same period a year prior, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said.
With auctions being cancelled or postponed due to restrictions to curb the COVID-19 pandemic over the first half of 2020, the year ended with almost 35 GW of new wind awarded globally, a figure that represents a 26.5% decrease year-on-year. Still, 2020 was the second-best year on record in terms of the volume of auctioned wind capacity, the organisation said.
For GWEC, the H2 numbers send a signal that the wind industry is back on track.
The Chinese market led the growth, awarding nearly 12 GW in the third quarter and 11 GW in November and December alone.
Behind China are India (2.2 GW), Germany (1.5 GW), Poland (900 MW), Netherlands (759 MW) Ireland (479 MW), Greece (472 MW), France (258 MW), and Ecuador (110 MW).
“[T]he sector’s impressive comeback in Q3 and Q4 2020 has shown that wind power has emerged from the crisis stronger than ever, with 2021 now expected to be a record year for new auctioned capacity” said Feng Zhao, GWEC’s head of strategy and market intelligence.
Countries such as Brazil, Chile and the US either cancelled or postponed their auctions last year, but then moved them to the 2021 calendar, GWEC said.
Summarising the 2020 totals, GWEC said that China accounted for 67% of the world’s wind power capacity auctioned and awarded last year. Subsidy-free onshore wind projects represented 96% of the approved capacity in China.
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