Wind Power Growth Still Surging Where Strongly Supported

Double-digit growth continued in the global wind market in 2013 as 35 gigawatts (GW) of additional capacity were added during the year, bringing the worldwide total to 318 GW—a 12.5 percent increase over 2012.1 (See Figure 1). This was a significant drop from the average 21 percent annual growth rate over the last 10 years, however.2 Overall investment declined slightly, from $80.9 billion in 2012 to $80.3 billion in 2013.3

Wind Power Figure 1

Among the world’s regions, the European Union is in the lead. Its 37 percent share of global installed capacity edges out Asia’s 36 percent.4 In fact, 16 European countries now have more than 1 GW of total installed wind capacity, compared with 4 in the Asia-Pacific region.5 (See Figure 2). Once again, China installed more new capacity than any other country, with Germany, the United Kingdom, India, and Canada rounding out the top five countries in terms of added capacity in 2013.6 (See Figure 3.)

In 2013, China installed 16.1 GW of new wind power capacity, 24 percent more than it added the previous year.7 By the end of 2013, total installed wind capacity there measured 91.4 GW, equivalent to 6 percent of the country’s total electricity generating capacity.8 The percentage of wind-generated electricity in China continued to rise in 2013, which shows that problems connecting wind farms to the grid are being resolved. (In 2011 alone, more than 10 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind power were lost because the grid lacked capacity to absorb it.)9 In 2012, wind-generated electricity in China amounted to 100.4 billion kWh, or 2 percent of the country’s total electricity output.10 In 2013, those numbers rose to 134.9 billion kWh and 2.6 percent.11

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