More than 80GW of new wind power capacity expected in 2021

12 Aug 2020
More than 80GW of new wind power capacity expected in 2021

More than 650GW of wind capacity was installed by the end of 2019, with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) forecasting that 205GW of offshore wind capacity will be installed by 2030



More than 80GW of additional wind energy capacity is expected to come online in 2021, according to Joyce Lee, Policy & Operations, Director for the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

Speaking during Global Energy & Utilities Digital Week, Lee said that due to a delay with projects in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, a record year is expected in 2021 in terms of new wind capacity coming online.

“Due to Covid–19, we have downgraded our projection for 2020, which was supposed to be a record year, as a result of disruption to supply chains, delays in construction, which we estimate a downgrade of 19 per cent – mostly in onshore wind,” said Lee.

“Covid-19 has led to commissioning deadlines for wind projects being extended in prominent markets such as the US, India, Germany and France in 2020 - and because of that we expect new installations to bounce back next year.”

Lee revealed, citing GWEC’s latest data, that by the end of 2019, 651GW of wind power was installed world-wide. Onshore wind accounted for the vast majority of this, 621GW, with offshore wind installations accounting for 29.1GW.

“The majority of wind installations were in Europe, US and China – withy China a very big player in both markets,” said Lee. “China accounts for one third of global onshore capacity and one quarter of the offshore market.”

Lee said that the offshore wind market, in particular, is due to increase exponentially in the coming years as countries such as the US deliver their first large-scale offshore wind facilities.

“Offshore wind offers particularly high compound opportunity for investment, because it offers very large capacity factors and is on par with natural gas.”

GWEC forecasts that more than 205GW of offshore wind capacity will be installed by 2030.

The wind power organisation expects annual capacity additions to average 71GW over the next five years to 2024, with the compound growth rate for new wind capacity about 12 per cent for the past five years.

While an additional 71GW of wind energy capacity a year over the next five years would significantly scale up the total installed capacity, Lee said that at this rate the 2c temperature target set in the Paris Climate agreement would be missed.

“The scale of growth needs to be significantly upscaled, with the IEA and Irena forecasting that wind growth will need to accelerate to 100GW annually through to 2030 if we are to meet the target.”

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