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Global wind industry achieves record growth

The global wind industry hit a milestone in 2023 with a record installation of 117GW of new capacity, marking its best year ever

The global wind industry soared to new heights in 2023, installing a record 117GW of new capacity, marking a 50% increase from the previous year.

This surge in installations was noted across 54 countries spanning all continents.

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has revised its growth forecast for the period between 2024 and 2030 upwards by 10%, now projecting a total capacity of 1210GW.

This upward adjustment is attributed to the implementation of national industrial policies in major economies, the burgeoning offshore wind sector and promising developments in emerging markets and developing economies.

However, despite this remarkable progress, the industry faces a daunting challenge to meet the ambitious targets set forth by COP28 and the 1.5ºC pathway.

To achieve these goals, the wind industry must triple its annual growth rate from the 2023 level to at least 320GW by 2030.

According to new data, onshore wind capacity exceeded 100GW for the first time in 2023, totalling 106GW with a year-on-year growth of 54%.

Offshore wind installations also performed strongly, reaching a total capacity of 10.8GW, marking 2023 as the second-best year for offshore wind in history.

Globally, cumulative wind power capacity surpassed 1TW in 2023, reaching 1,021GW with a year-on-year growth of 13%.

The top five markets for new wind installations were China, the US, Brazil, Germany and India, with China leading by commissioning 75GW of new installations, comprising nearly 65% of the global total.

China’s significant growth contributed to a record year for the Asia-Pacific region, which saw a year-on-year growth of 106%.

Latin America also experienced notable growth, with a 21% increase led by Brazil’s installations of 4.8GW, ranking third globally.

Additionally, wind installations in Africa and the Middle East surged by 182% compared to 2022, indicating a promising trend of expansion and adoption of wind energy in these regions.

Ben Backwell, Chief Executive Officer of GWEC, said: “It’s great to see wind industry growth picking up, and we are proud of reaching a new annual record.

“However much more needs to be done to unlock growth by policymakers, industry and other stakeholders to get on to the 3X pathway needed to reach net zero.

“Growth is highly concentrated in a few big countries like China, the US, Brazil and Germany, and we need many more countries to remove barriers and improve market frameworks to scale up wind installations.

“Geopolitical instability may continue for some time. But as a key energy transition technology, the wind industry needs policymakers to be laser-focused on addressing growth challenges such as planning bottlenecks, grid queues and poorly designed auctions.”

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