This year 2014 saw the highest installed wind capacity increase in a single year – 51GW – according to figures from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). The capacity additions mean wind power worldwide grew 16% in 2014 to a total of 370 GW of installed capacity.

GWEC’s Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update highlights that non-OEDC markets, led by China and Brazil, outstripped the traditional markets of Europe and North America in 2014.

China led the world in terms of new capacity, installing 23 GW of new wind power in 2014. The country now has a total of 114 GW of capacity. Brazil was the world’s 4th largest market in 2014 and entered the top 10 in cumulative ranking for the first time, says GWEC. Germany, Chile, Canada and Turkey also had record years. Africa installed nearly 1 GW in 2014 for the first time. ‘Wind power’s growth is increasingly driven by its competitive pricing, as well as because it enhances energy security, price stability and (especially in China) through the need to address the choking smog that is increasingly making major urban areas in the developing world unliveable,’ said Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General. The report also shows the US market recovering from a dismal 2013, and predicts strong growth over the next two years.

GWEC expects the 2015 market to top 50 GW, and for levels to reach 60 GW of new capacity per year by 2018. The report predicts that China will meet its schedule, and also predicts strong growth in the Indian market.

Meanwhile, progress has been made towards offshore wind reaching the shores of the US, with what could be the first offshore wind farm in the country reaching financial close. The 30 MW Block Island wind farm, currently being develop by Deepwater Wind, will be located 5 km off the south-east coast of Block Island in Rhode Island. The farm is to comprise five Alstom Haliade 6 MW wind turbines.

Construction of the Block Island wind farm is expected to commence this summer and it is scheduled for commercial operation by the end of 2016.

Source: Energy World News May 2015