China to lead wind power growth over next 5 years

April 26, 2017 - 7:32 AM
Wind turbines at a wind farm in Guazhou, Gansu Province, China. (Reuters)

LONDON — China will lead growth in global wind power capacity of almost 65 percent over the next five years, with other Asian countries also developing more renewable energy, the Global Wind Energy Council said on Tuesday.

Cumulative wind energy capacity was 487 gigawatts at the end of 2016, a 12.6 percent rise from the year before and should grow by almost 65 percent to 800 GW by the end of 2021, the GWEC said in its annual report on the industry.

While China will continue to lead the global market, other countries such as India, which set a record for new wind installations last year in an effort to meet ambitious government targets, will also play a part. Globally, wind power capacity installed in 2016 reached 54 GW, which should rise to 60 GW this year, GWEC said.

Last year, the International Energy Agency said renewables surpassed coal in 2016 to become the largest power source in the world.

“Wind power is now successfully competing with heavily subsidized incumbents across the globe, building new industries, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and leading the way towards a clean energy future,” GWEC secretary general Steve Sawyer said in a statement.

Last year saw significant price reductions for offshore wind in Europe, the report said.

“Europe will continue to lead the offshore market, but the low prices have attracted the attention of policymakers worldwide, particularly in North America and Asia,” it said.