EWEA 2011: China could surpass 70 GW installed wind by 2015

By Renewable Energy Focus staff at EWEA 2011

GWEC has updated its 2010 Global Wind Report to include five year forecasts, saying the average annual growth rate for the global wind power market could be 18.2% over the next five years.

This could lead to a doubling of global installed wind power to 450 GW by 2015. Annual market additions are expected to reach 60.5 GW, compared to 35.8 GW in 2010.

“2010 was a tough year also for our industry, but 2011 is looking up,” GWEC’s Secretary General Steve Sawyer, said in a statement. “We’ve paid the price for the 2008/9 financial crisis last year, and now we’re back on track.”

At EWEA 2011, Sawyer said that of course the estimations have not taken recent events in Japan into consideration.

Asked about whether the nuclear disaster could make politicians look more favourably at wind, Sawyer said: “Wind doesn’t really compete directly with nuclear other than in the press.” He added that both the UK and the US have talked about building new nuclear reactors over the last 20 years, but that nothing has happened as of yet.

The only market that has seen a real impact already on nuclear appetite, is Germany where the Government seemingly is had to back down a little bit on their push for nuclear. There have been a lot of protest against nuclear in Germany, but Sawyer said: “I don’t know how long the impact will be.”

Furthermore, the European Commission has recently announced a goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2050 – Sawyer said it’s unclear how other region would react to this news.

Renewable Energy Focus asked Sawyer what support mechanism for wind could be most efficient, but he responded by saying that GWEC does not follow any one church on that one. He did say, however that mechanisms “need to be clear, transparent and part of a greater system.” He also highlighted the importance of priority access for renewable energy.


China accounted for almost half of global capacity additions in 2010 with 16.5 GW, supported by long-term government plans, supportive policies and huge investments.

By 2015, GWEC says annual additions are expected to exceed 20 GW. Combined with India’s steady growth, Asia could reach a total capacity of 174.6 GW.


Europe is expected to remain the second largest market reaching a cumulative wind power capacity of 146.1 GW in 2015. Germany and Spain will remain leading markets, but other markets will also make themselves known and offshore wind will increase its share of new capacity.

North America

The North American market will continue to be haunted by legislative uncertainty at Federal level in both the US and Canada. But by 2014, GWEC says the market will approach its 2009 size. By 2015, capacity is expected to more than double to 94.2 GW.

Latin America

Latin America is expected to reach 19 GW by 2015, driven by developments in Brazil, Mexico and Chile.