According to the latest data released by Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC) market intelligence, 2020 was a record year for wind power growth in the Asia Pacific, specifically driven by China, which installed 52 GW of new wind power capacity. According to initial data, China doubled what it had installed in 2019, more than any country had ever done in a year.
Altogether, the region installed 56 GW of new wind power capacity in 2020, a 78% year-on-year increase, and nearly the same capacity installed globally in 2019.
In addition to China, Australia (1,097 MW), Japan (449 MW), Kazakhstan (300 MW), and Sri Lanka (88 MW) all had record years for wind power in 2020. Although India (1,119 MW) ranked second in terms of new wind power capacity in the region in 2020, it was the lowest year on record for new wind installations since 2004 due to regulatory and infrastructure bottlenecks.
The region’s total wind capacity is nearly 347 GW, which helps to avoid 510 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually – equivalent to taking 110 million passenger cars off the road.
Feng Zhao, head of market intelligence and strategy at GWEC, said, “The Asia Pacific is the region with the most wind power capacity globally, with the region installing over 60% of all new global wind power capacity in 2020. The incredible and rapid growth of wind power in the region has been led by China, which now has more wind power capacity than Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America combined. The Chinese wind market exceeded our original forecasts by over 73%.”
“For China to achieve its net-zero goal by 2060, the country needs to be installing over 50 GW of wind power capacity per year from 2021-2025, and 60 GW from 2026 onwards. Although installation levels were on track with these targets in 2020, China now must ensure that this level of growth can be sustained in a subsidy-free era”, he added.
Martand Shardul, policy director at GWEC India, Said: “While it was a record year for wind power in the Asia Pacific region, India’s wind power markets experienced a slowdown in 2020, adding less than half of the capacity that was installed in 2019. We have been witnessing a deceleration of market momentum in India since 2018 due to policy, infrastructure, and regulatory challenges. Solving these challenges through collaboration between the private and public sector will be key to make India a wind power leader in the region once again and power a green recovery.”
Liming Qiao, Head of GWEC Asia, added: “We are beginning to see new wind power markets emerge in the Asia Pacific region, especially in South East Asia, which will become increasingly important growth drivers for the wind industry over the next decade. Markets such as Vietnam have massive wind power potential, but getting the right regulatory frameworks in place will be key to provide a long-term horizon for the market and attract investors.”.
China also leads the world in new offshore wind capacity installation for the third year in a row with over 3 GW of new capacity in 2020, according to the GWEC.
Meanwhile, GWEC has also expressed its apprehensions on India meeting its offshore and onshore wind energy targets by 2022.
Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.