Global capacity set to double

WORLDWIDE: Market analysis firm Make Consulting predicts a compound average growth rate in global wind capacity of 4% over the coming decade, with roughly 65GW added each year until 2027.

'Success over the next ten years will depend on the industry's ability to continue winning capacity awards at auction', Make said (pic: Sarens)

Make's Global Wind Power Market Outlook Update for Q1 2018 takes into account the impact of auctions, particularly in Latin America, the reduction of red curtailment warnings in China, which frees up deployment in the north of the country, and the growth in offshore wind in Northern Europe.

"Success over the next ten years will depend on the global wind power industry's ability to continue winning capacity awards at auction, and even more so to execute awarded capacity on time and within budget," the report stated.

"The precipitous drop in pricing globally over the last year, particularly in the offshore sector, is certainly a rallying point for industry achievement, but it needs to be proven," Make added.


The analysts noted the US market "avoided a disaster" at the end of 2017, when a potential tax code upheaval threatened the key market driver, the production tax credit (PTC). 

The uncertainty however did push some new capacity back into 2020, Make conceded.

Beyond 2021, following the expiration of the PTC, Make predicts new capacity additions in the US to "drop off considerably" with "nearly a threefold decrease in average annual capacity from 2022 to 2027 compared to the four years prior". The US installed a little over 7GW in 2017.

The Latin American region is expected to become a driving market for the industry.

Make said with a spate of new auctions tabled for 2018 in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Peru, the compound average growth rate for the region should exceed 14%.


China has suffered with high curtailment rates for a number of years. This resulted in capacity deployment being stunted in windy northern provinces.

However, China recently lowered some provinces from a red curtailment warning to orange or green in its traffic lights-based warning system brought in to combat curtailment.

This means some of the northern provinces can begin construction of wind-power projects again, offering a boost in the near-term, Make said. However it is unlikely to reach the 30GW 2015 record high any time soon.

Make is also predicting China's offshore sector to "mature quickly" with 3GW of new capacity added annually between 2022 and 2027. 

Offshore capacity in the wider region is set to ramp-up quickly.

Excluding China, offshore wind capacity in Asia-Pacific will achieve a compound annual growth rate of 45%, adding more than 1.7GW of new capacity each year between 2022 and 2027 driven by the Taiwan, Japan and South Korean markets. 


Unsurprisingly, the effect of offshore wind will be felt most keenly in Europe. Across the region as a whole, new offshore projects will comprise 25% of new capacity added in 2020-2027, Make said.

Much of the new capacity will be seen in the UK, with Germany, France and the Netherlands also adding over 5GW each. Denmark, Sweden and Ireland will also contribute. 

Germany's onshore market in the next decade is set to experience a two-year peak in 2021-2022 following the recent auction rounds. It will then be increasingly reliant on the repowering market

Make predicts "23% of new onshore capacity added in Germany over the ten-year outlook will come from repowering, which represents more than 40% of all repowered capacity in Europe over this period".


Annual capacity additions in 2027 in the Middle East and Africa will be triple that of 2018's total, Make suggested.

Over the period, MEA will see a 26% compound average growth rate, driven by South Africa — if it can finally pass the power purchase agreement deadlock that has crippled the country for almost two years.

Make noted 1.2GW of power contracts in Saudi Arabia "provide the foundation", with Iran and Egypt also contributing.