World adds 93.6 GW of wind in 2021, GWEC says even more is needed

Image by: Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

April 5 (Renewables Now) - The world has deployed 93.6 GW of wind turbine capacity in 2021 in what was the second-best year for the industry, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) says in a new report.

The cumulative global wind power generation capacity reached 837 GW at the end of 2021. The additions registered in the past year were 1.8% less than in the record 2020. GWEC noted that four times as much will be needed annually by 2030 to keep the trajectory towards net-zero by 2050.

According to the statistics, China was responsible for 50.9% of the global total in 2021, although it brought online fewer onshore wind turbines than in the previous year.

Onshore wind farms around the globe brought 72.5 GW of the total commissioned capacity in 2021 and 21.1 GW came from offshore wind turbines. Mostly fuelled by the growth in China, which took the UK’s crown as the world’s largest offshore wind market in cumulative installations after close to 17 GW of new capacity in 2021, the year was the best one for the offshore segment.

In its report, GWEC urged policymakers to guarantee the regulatory stability of the sector and set the stage for overcoming bottlenecks in permitting, while further facilitating grid development in order to match the needed level of capacity additions and tackle climate change. While it said the industry is “on a positive growth trajectory,” GWEC added that the current installation rates will bring less than two-thirds of the wind energy capacity required by 2030 in order to achieve climate objectives.

“The wind industry continues to step up and deliver, but scaling up growth to the level required to reach Net Zero and achieve energy security will require a new, more proactive approach to policy making around the world,” said GWEC’s CEO Ben Backwell.

Looking ahead, GWEC expects that the global wind power capacity will grow at a 6.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the next five years, representing 557 GW of new installations in the 2022-2026 period.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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