Global capacity nears 500GW

WORLDWIDE: The global wind industry added 54GW of new wind capacity in 2016, taking the worldwide total to 487GW, according to the latest annual figures from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

Global wind capacity nears 500GW (pic: GWEC)

The total is a 13% fall on the record year in 2015, with most regions installing less in 2016 than the previous year.

Only Europe improved slightly on its 2015 figures. It added 13,926MW, just 121MW more than 2015.

Once again, China added the largest amount in 2016 with 23.3GW of new capacity — although this is down from the more than 30GW added in 2015.

The US followed with an additional 8.2GW, with Germany (5.4GW), India (3.6GW) and Brazil (2GW) making up the rest of the top five markets.

India set a new national record, adding 3,612MW of new installations, taking the country's total to 28.7GW, GWEC's report said.

"We have great expectations for the Indian market, and we look forward to seeing offshore making a contribution in India in the next few years," said GWEC secretary general Steve Sawyer.

Country Added Capacity in 2016 Cumulative Capacity, end of 2016
China 23,328MW 168,690MW
USA 8,203MW 82,184MW
Germany 5,443MW 50,018MW
India 3,612MW 28,700MW
Brazil 2,014MW 10,740MW
France 1,561MW 12,066MW
Turkey 1,387MW 6,081MW
Netherlands 887MW 4,328MW
UK 736MW 14,543MW
Canada 702MW 11,900MW

Top ten markets in 2016 by added capacity, and their cumulative totals. Source: GWEC


China overtook Denmark in offshore capacity, claiming third spot, with an added 592MW offshore.

Denmark failed to add any capacity offshore in 2016, but has a solid pipeline with the 406MW Horns Rev 3, the 350MW of nearshore projects, and 600MW Kriegers Flak all making progress.

Globally, 2.2GW of new offshore capacity was installed, driven by Germany, the Netherlands and China. This was down from the 3.4GW added in 2015.

Country Added Capacity Offshore in 2016 Total Cumulative Offshore Capacity
Germany 813MW 4,108MW
Netherlands 691MW 1,118MW
China 592MW 1,627MW
56MW 5,156MW
South Korea 30MW 35MW
US 30MW 30MW

Top six offshore markets by added capacity in 2016, with cumulative totals. Source: GWEC