The world will add 71.3 GW of wind power generation capacity this year, just 6% below pre-COVID forecasts from the first quarter, according to GWEC Market Intelligence.
There were predictions for an up to 20% drop, but the latest market outlook by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) shows the impact of the pandemic on the sector has been much lower than previously feared. This is especially true of offshore wind, where GWEC’s 2020 forecast has been increased by 5% to 6.5 GW.
“While the COVID-19 crisis has impacted every industry across the world, wind power has continued to grow and thrive. This is no surprise given the cost competitiveness of wind energy and the need to rapidly reproduce carbon emissions. Fossil fuel industries face market fluctuations and require bailouts to stay afloat, while wind turbines across the world have continued to spin and provide affordable, clean energy to citizens everywhere,” said GWEC chief executive Ben Backwell.
The market intelligence platform forecasts a record year for wind in 2021, with 78 GW of installations. Over 348 GW in total are expected to be added in 2020-2024, bringing the global wind capacity to almost a terawatt. GWEC said that more than half of the new onshore wind capacity built between 2020 and 2024 will be located in China and the US, where developers are rushing to meet subsidy deadlines.
More than 48 GW of offshore wind installations are expected by 2024, followed by 157 GW between 2025 and 2030.