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Global Wind Power Market Takes a Dive

Linda Hardesty

wind energy manage

In 2013, worldwide wind power installations reached 36.13 GW, a 20-percent decline from 2012. According to a new report from Navigant Research/BTM Consult, 2013 was the first time in 8 years that the global wind power industry installed less in a given year than the year before. The decline reduced the annual growth rate for the past 5 years to 5.1 percent from 17.8 percent in the five years ending in 2012.

The market decline was not unexpected, according to the report “World Market Update 2013 International Wind Energy Development Forecast 2014-2018.” Negative conditions in several key countries, particularly the United States and Spain, were not conducive to market growth.

Installation of new wind plants in the United States dropped by 93 percent, a sizable market decline that dragged down global growth. The US market decline was triggered by lack of policy consistency and a failure to renew the production tax credit (PTC), says the report. In Europe, the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis still continues to weigh heavily.

Other Findings:

  • The American continent represented 13.1 percent of the global wind market, dropping from 35.2 percent in 2012. In the United States, a politically divided Congress failed to extend tax incentives in time to positively impact the 2013 development and construction cycle. The market dropped 93 percent with less than 1.1 GW installed, down from a record 13.1 GW the year before.
  • China regained the title of the world’s largest annual market with 16,088 MW of new wind power installed in 2013. Germany came a distant second with 3237 MW, followed by India with 1987 MW, the United Kingdom with 1,833 MW and Canada marking a record year with 1,699 MW. Spain and Italy exited the top rankings, negatively affected by regulatory change to their wind market structures.
  • Penetration of wind power in the world’s electricity supply reached 2.87 percent in 2013.


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