Double digit growth drives wind industry forward to 12.5% increase in installed capacity
- 24 July 2014
LONDON: Worldwide the wind industry continues to expand, with 35 GW added in 2013 alone, new research from the Worldwatch Institute reveals.
In a new Vital Signs report, the independent energy body notes that global generating capacity now stands at 318 GW, a 12.5% increase on 2012. However, the analysts acknowledge this is less than the average growth rate in previous years.
Image courtesy of Worldwatch Institute
The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) of onshore wind has dropped 15% since 2009 and this, when combined with technological advances, has ensured onshore wind energy is increasingly competitive with fossil fuels - even without government subsidies.
In fact, the Danish Energy Agency announced just last week that at 4 cent (Euro) per kilowatt hour, wind power is now cheaper than coal in Denmark.
Similarly, 2013 was an important year for the offshore wind market, with new projects moving away from territory previously used by oil and gas to larger plots in deeper waters. The UK was one of the main champions of offshore energy, installing close to 2GW in total wind capacity – the majority of which was out at sea.
With a proposed target of 30% renewables by 2020 the EU is keen to develop sustainable energy, and the report’s findings suggest the bloc is committed to achieving this aim. With a 37% share in global capacity, the EU holds the title for world leader in installed wind power capacity, the report reveals.
Asia is close behind however, aided by strong commitment from China who in 2013 installed 16.1 GW of new wind power capacity, a 24% increase on 2012.
One point of concern the analysis raises is the slight decline in wind investment, which dropped from US$80.9 billion in 2012 to US$80.3 billion in 2013. While general clean energy investment is at a five quarter high, to sustain this trend, interest in wind projects must be maintained.
Investment plays a crucial role in driving the clean revolution, with Ben Ferrari, Director of Partnerships, The Climate Group, recently stressing: “Businesses which are clean energy innovators deserve public and private support. Financial backing facilitates further research and development and enables these pioneering companies to cement their position in the global energy market.”
By Alana Ryan