In 2013, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (“GWEC”) 35.5 GW of new wind capacity were installed. China remains the main driver of global growth by adding 16.5 GW, nearly half of the total global new wind capacity, and reached 91 GW of installed capacity. According to the European Wind Energy Association (“EWEA”), 11.7 GW were installed in Europe during 2013, bringing the total installed capacity in the region to 121 GW, while based on the American Wind Energy Association (“AWEA”) only 1.1 GW were installed in the US reaching a total installed capacity of 61 GW.
In the European Union (EU-28) the total wind capacity by the end of 2013 amounted to 117.3 GW and the electricity produced covered 8% of electricity demand. The year was marked by an increase in offshore technologies.
An annual addition of 11.1 GW, according to EWEA, represents a year over year decrease of 8%. The lower growth rate is reflection of the regulatory and political uncertainty in some European markets. However, despite the slowdown in yearly additions, wind power was the technology which installed the most, accounting for 32% of the new additions.
The new installations were mainly concentrated in two countries, Germany (3.2 GW) and the UK (1.9 GW), with an increasing presence in offshore wind. Germany continues to lead the European market in terms of installed capacity. Rounding out the top 5 are Poland (894 MW), Sweden (724 MW), and Romania (695 MW). EDPR is well positioned in several of these top markets.
Traditional large markets of Spain, Italy, and France saw their rate of new wind projects decrease in 2013, by 84%, 65% and 24% respectively, where regulatory changes in Spain drove the significant decline.
The offshore market in Europe had a record year in terms of new installation by adding an additional 1.6 GW, representing a 34% increase from 2012. For the year, Europe reached 6.6 GW of offshore wind installed capacity spread across 11 countries with the UK alone adding 733 MW, strengthening its worldwide offshore leadership, followed by Denmark (350 MW), Germany (240 MW), Belgium (192 MW) and Sweden (48 MW).
Uncertainty regarding the extension of the Production Tax Credit (“PTC”) and Investment Tax Credit (“ITC”) led to a dramatic 92% decrease in new installed capacity to 1.1 GW in the United States. However, once the extensions were received, a flurry of construction activity ensued resulting in a record 12 GW of new projects under construction by year end, according to AWEA. 2014 will be a solid year for growth as these projects come online.
For the rest of the region, Canada installed 1.6 GW of wind additions, including EDPR’s first project with 30 MW, while in Mexico 623 MW were added. Latin America was strongly represented by Brazil, another EDPR market, as it installed 948 MW, followed by Chile (130 MW), and Argentina (76 MW).
The renewable energy market is a growing and increasingly competitive arena which should continue to do well as investment costs decline and regulatory and general support is achieved.