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REPORT - GWEC forecasts 817 GW of wind power in 2021

GWEC's Top 10 by cumulative capacity at end-2016

April 25 (Renewables Now) - The global cumulative installed wind power generation capacity is expected to reach 817 GW in 2021 with Asia leading growth, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) says.  

Asia is seen to install 153.5 GW in 2017-2021. Deployment in Europe and North America is seen at 73.5 GW and 61.5 GW, respectively, according to the Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update.

GWEC’s rolling five year forecast sees 59.4 GW of new wind additions this year and the annual market is expected to rise to some 75.3 GW by 2021.

“We are well into a period of disruptive change, moving away from power systems centered on a few large, polluting plants towards markets increasingly dominated by a range of widely distributed renewable energy sources. We need to get to a zero emissions power system well before 2050 if we are to meet our climate change and development goals,” said GWEC Secretary General Steve Sawyer.

The table below shows the cumulative wind power capacity (in GW) by region in 2016 and GWEC’s forecast for 2017 and 2021.

Region 2016 2017 2021
Europe 161.3 175.3 234.8
North America 97.6 107.9 159.1
Asia 203.6 232.5 357.1
Latin America 15.3 19.1 40.2
Pacific 5 5.6 9.7
Middle East & Africa 3.9 5.7 16.1

Currently more than 90 countries have wind farms, and nine of them have more than 10,000 MW installed. Wind’s share in power generation in Denmark has reached 40%. In Uruguay, Portugal and Ireland is is well over 20%, with Spain and Cyprus getting around 20% of their electricity from wind turbines.

Steve Sawyer noted that offshore wind, with its major price breakthrough in the past year, looks set to live up to the enormous potential that many have believed in for years. It is already expanding outside Europe.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for seven years now. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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