Wind Power Capacity Worldwide reaches 539 GW

12.02.2018

According to preliminary statistics published by WWEA, the overall capacity of all wind turbines installed worldwide by the end of 2017 reached 539,291 MW. This means with an additional capacity of 52,552 MW, 2017 there has been slightly more installation activity then the year before.

As the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) reports wind power has shown the third largest increase in installed capacity within one year, after the record years 2015 and 2014. However, the annual growth rate of only 10,8 % is the lowest growth ever since the industrial deployment of wind turbines started end of the 20th century.

All wind turbines installed by end of 2017 can cover more than 5% of the global electricity demand. For many countries, wind power has become a pillar in their strategies to phase out fossil and nuclear energy. In 2017, Denmark set a new world record with 43% of its power coming from wind. An increasing number of countries have reached a double-digit wind power share, including Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden or Uruguay.

Other Markets saw a strong growth too:
USA + 6.8 GW 89 GW in total
Germay + 6.1 GW 56 GW in total
India + 4.6 GW 32.9 GW in total
UK + 3.3 GW 17.9 GW in total
Brazil + 2 GW 12.8 GW in total
France + 1.7 GW 13.8 GW in total

The by far largest wind power market China installed an additional capacity of 19 GW, slightly less than in 2016, and continues its undisputed position as the world’s wind power leader, with a cumulated wind capacity of 188 GW. Together with an amazing deployment in solar power, the country is now well on its way of making renewable energy its main energy source. 

However, some of the major markets in particular in Europe faced stagnation, after all Spain and Portugal. At the same time, the new installation record in Germany and in some other European markets is rather the result of an anticipated market collapse, due to the switch from feed-in tariffs to auctions, which has been imposed by the European Commission and creates major difficulties in particular for small and medium sized investors, including community ownership. 

Stefan Gsänger, WWEA Secretary General: “The general, robust growth of wind power around the world which goes hand in hand with further geographic diversification is very encouraging. New world regions such as Latin America and most recently also Africa are playing an important role in this dynamic development. Obviously many governments have understood that wind power brings great benefits to their societies, as it is emission-free, cheap, domestic and accessible and offers a very attractive pathway to achieving the Paris agreement. However, signs of weakness in particular in Europe are a matter of concern. The European Union and its member states should urgently reinforce their efforts to deploy wind power as part of an overall renewable energy strategy and to work out a roadmap for a 100% renewable energy future.”

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