Wind Installations to Cross 71 GW in 2020 Despite COVID-19 Challenges: GWEC

The forecast for offshore wind installations in 2020 increased by 5% from the pre-COVID projections

November 9, 2020

/ Wind

The latest market outlook published by the Global Wind Energy Council Market (GWEC) Intelligence expects 71.3 GW of wind power installations in 2020 despite the impact of COVID-19, a 6% reduction from the pre-COVID forecast.

The global wind power industry has demonstrated resilience and showed a significant increase from original predictions that expected wind power installations to drop by 20% due to the pandemic.

According to GWEC’s latest forecast, between 2020 and 2024, the cumulative global wind energy market will grow at a compounded annual rate of 8.5% while installing 348 GW of new capacity. The expected total global wind power capacity will reach nearly 1 TW by the end of 2024- a 54% increase in the total wind power installations compared to 2019.

GWEC Forecasted New Wind Capacity Installations by Year (Onshore and Offshore)

Although the pandemic had pushed some project completion dates to 2021, next year’s forecast predicts the wind industry to install a record 78 GW of new wind capacity. China and the United States will see over 50% of the onshore wind capacity added between 2020 to 2024, led by installation rushes to meet subsidy deadlines.

Due to the localized nature of wind power supply chains and project construction, the sector has continued to generate billions in local investment and thousands of jobs to support economic recovery.

GWEC Market Intelligence has increased its forecast for offshore wind by 5% to 6.5 GW of new installations in 2020, another record year for the industry, led by China’s installation rush.

By 2024, over 48 GW of new offshore wind capacity would be installed, with another 157 GW forecasted to be installed between 2025 and 2030.

GWEC Forecasted New Wind Installations by Region 2020-2024

Feng Zhao, Strategy Director at GWEC, commented: “China and the U.S. will continue to be the two main markets driving growth over the next few years. We have increased or maintained our forecasts for onshore wind in regions such as Latin America, North America, Africa, and the Middle East over the next five years, with only minor decreases in Asia Pacific and Europe.

Zhao further added, “We have seen a series of carbon neutrality commitments by major economies such as China, Japan, and South Korea over the past few weeks. Since wind power is a key technology for decarbonization, these targets will increase wind power forecast over the next few decades.

In August this year, the GWEC had expressed its apprehensions about India meeting its offshore and onshore wind energy targets by 2022. With around 7,600 km of coastline at its disposal, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy set the target of 5 GW of offshore wind power by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030. India has also earmarked nearly 70 GW of potential area for offshore wind energy development.

In India, wind power installations reached 2.07 GW in the financial year (FY) 2019-20, a 31% increase compared to 1.58 GW in the FY 2018-19. Wind represents 10.1% of the total installed power capacity in India as of Q1 2020. The cumulative wind power installations amount to 37.7 GW as of March 2020.

Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.