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Market Status 2016: Prospects following a year of record installations

WORLDWIDE: Our annual guide to more than forty countries, giving new operating wind installations from 2015, current policies and prospects for the near future.

We take a conservative approach to our counts for new wind power installations, preferring to include only those turbines that are delivering power rather than everything that has merely been put into the ground.

But, however you count it, 2015 was a record year for global wind power, with close to 60GW of new capacity installed and commissioned. And it was largely China's rush that has pushed wind to record levels.

By our reckoning there is now around 430GW of worldwide wind power delivering to the grid, more than half of which has been added in the past five years. That it a hugely impressive rate of growth.

Whether that pace can be sustained through the next few years is less certain, however. A huge surge in installations in China, prompted by forthcoming cuts in financial support, played a major role in wind's biggest year yet.

That will not be the case in the next few years as China settles down to adding 20-24GW of new capacity annually, rather than the 30GW it installed in 2015. Industry observers forecast that 2016 will see around 50GW added, with global capacity topping the 500GW mark in the first half of 2017.

Another impressive factor in wind power's record growth year was that it was achieved in far-from-ideal circumstances.

The slump in the price of oil and, to a certain extent, gas, gave little incentive to countries to switch from fossil fuels to renewables.

And the global economy was hardly in perfect shape either, with growth slowing markedly in China while almost non-existent in Europe and South America.

Yet, according to the International Energy Agency, renewables accounted for around 90% of new electricity generation, with wind producing more than half.

The stories that follow reveal the countries' achievements and near future potential, and include our unique Feelgood Factor, based on political, financial, structural and pipeline readiness, drawing on intelligence from our global team of correspondents and the experts from Dentons global law firm.

Choose a region: North America | Latin America | Middle East & Africa | Asia-Pacific | Europe

Annual global installation figures from 1994-2015

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