China’s thirst for power boosts Wood Mackenzie’s 2030 wind forecast

In its latest report, Wood Mackenzie expects global wind capacity to hit 1,756GW by 2030 – a 69GW increase from its forecast in Q3

Rapid growth in power demand and renewed determination for an energy transition have boosted wind power's prospects in China (pic credit: Goldwind)
Rapid growth in power demand and renewed determination for an energy transition have boosted wind power's prospects in China (pic credit: Goldwind)

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Global wind power capacity is expected to grow at a cumulative annualised growth rate (CAGR) of 9% between 2021 and 2030 to reach 1,756GW by the end of the decade, according to a new report by analysts at Wood Mackenzie.

The consultancy has raised its Q4 forecast by 69GW compared with its previous quarter’s outlook. This is mainly due to China’s forecast increasing by 48GW.

“Rapid growth in power demand driven by China’s industrial sector and the recent power shortage in September sparked China’s determination to accelerate the development of renewable energy. Hence, we have upgraded our China wind power capacity outlook,” said Wood Mackenzie research director Luke Lewandowski.

The market is expected to add 458GW this decade and will continue to lead the global rankings in terms of new capacity added.

“Acute demand for power along China’s coastline triggered a 13GW upgrade in the offshore wind sector, largely concentrated from 2023 to 2026,” said principal analyst Xiaoyang Li. “The country’s commitment to net zero emissions is expected to drive 88GW of additional offshore wind capacity between 2021 and 2030,” she added.

Adjustments in the US and Europe combined to add 22GW in the Q4 forecast, as these markets respond to decarbonisation targets and expected incentive mechanisms. In the US, an expectation that Congress passes a 100% Production Tax Credit extension yielded an upgrade of nearly 12GW.  

In Europe, the 10GW uplift rested on broad efforts to ramp up compliance with 2030 targets, with southern Europe in particular seeing a 3.3GW upgrade in its outlook due to wind developers’ success in recent auction rounds.

Wood Mackenzie has made minimal adjustments in its outlook for the Middle East and Africa. 

Meanwhile, Japan is bucking the trend with a 2.5GW downgrade caused by a more conservative offshore target than anticipated.

Vietnam reported a stellar increase in capacity additions in 2021 as developers pushed to capitalise on feed-in tariff support that expired at the end of October — although the official figure of 3.3GW added is likely to include projects that have secured government certificates but are not fully completed, according to principal analyst Robert Liew. Wood Mackenzie expects 9.9GW of new installations in Vietnam this decade.

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