Was 2015 the High-Water Mark for Annual Global Wind Installations?

In an article for Renewable Energy World, Navigant Research says the wind energy market is no longer subject to the high annual growth rates it experienced in its infancy

Each year large amounts of wind turbine capacity are installed globally—so much so recently that the market is beginning to transition from developing to developed.

In an article for Renewable Energy World, Jesse Broehl, senior research analyst at Navigant Research, says findings from a recent Navigant Research report he authored indicate that wind turbine capacity installed in 2016 is actually 14 percent lower than what was installed in 2015. While the downturn is largely a result of changing incentive rates in the Chinese market, it also indicates that 2015 might have been the high-water mark for annual global wind installations.

“The reality is that while the global wind energy industry is a huge market, it is no longer subject to the high annual growth rates it experienced in its infancy,” Broehl writes. “This is a natural result of the market moving from an emerging one to a mature one that sees steady installations across most country markets and regions.”

Looking forward, Broehl says wind installations in 2017 are projected to increase slightly by 1.7 percent to around 55.3 GW. Annual installations are expected to average around 51.9 GW between 2017 and 2021.

“This forecast reflects a global wind market that will play a major role in new electricity generation additions but is leveling off in all but a few markets,” Broehl adds. “Modest growth is the new reality; however, given the sheer volume of wind plant additions, this is unquestionably a large and healthy energy market and technology sector for the foreseeable future.”

For more insight on this topic, check out Navigant Research's report, World Wind Energy Market Update 2017.

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