Despite an overall slump in installations in 2013, the global cumulative wind power capacity will more than double by 2020. Research firm Gobal Data has released figures stating that wind power will increase from from 319.6 Gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2013 to 678.5 GW by 2020.
China, the largest single wind power market responsible for 45 per cent of total global annual capacity additions in 2013, is expected to have a cumulative wind capacity of 239.7 GW by 2020.China recently overtook the US as the leading market for installations in 2010, when it added 18.9 GW of wind capacity.
The report, released ahead of Global Wind Day, also states that the US will remain the second largest global wind power market in terms of cumulative installed capacity, increasing from 68.9 GW in 2014 to 104.1 GW in 2020.
This will largely be driven by renewable energy targets in several states, such as Alaska’s aim to reach 50% renewable power generation and Texas’ mandate to achieve 10 GW of renewable capacity, both by 2025.
In Australia, the Clean Energy Council released new figures supporting wind energy development within Australia, which stands ready to deliver thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment to the Australian economy.
Policy Director Russell Marsh said that while China continued to lead the world in the installation of wind power, Australia’s wind sector had the potential to deliver significant benefits to the economy.
“For the first time last year, China invested more in clean energy such as wind and solar than it did in traditional energy such as coal and gas.”
Marsh also noted that there are now 24 countries that have installed more than 1000 megawatts of wind power with China, the United States, Germany, Spain, India and the UK leading the way.
“Australia is currently middle of the pack, with 3240 megawatts installed – translating to 1639 turbines across 68 wind farms.”
Marsh also stated that analysis “found that Australia had some of the lowest rates of government support for wind power of anywhere in the world.”
Marsh said wind farms currently approved across the country had the potential to deliver up to 6600 one-year construction contract jobs, more than 680 ongoing jobs, $3.4 million in local community flow-on benefits, and up to $34 million to host landholders each year.
One of those areas with strong support is the ACT, where Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development Simon Corbell said renewable energy “is the future for Canberra as we work toward achieving the ACT’s ambitious 90 per cent by 2020 renewable energy target for the territory.”
Corbell said his government was committed to establish large-scale renewable energy generation through avenues such as wind and solar.
Corbell noted the recently announced 200MW wind auction, and also noted that the ACT is currently on track to become the solar capital of Australia.