A Record 114 GW of Wind Power Capacity Added Globally in 2020

A total of 114 GW of new wind capacity was added globally in 2020, representing an 82% increase year-over-year (YoY), according to a report from Wood Mackenzie. This is the highest global annual installation total on record.

China reported 72 GW of installed capacity in 2020, which alone would have qualified as the most capacity added globally in a single year, Wood Mackenzie said. This total includes partially completed projects, as developers claimed full capacity to capitalize on the onshore wind subsidy before it expired at the end of last year.

The rest of the world – excluding China – added nearly 43 GW in 2020, a 15% increase YoY. Significant contributions came from the United States (6,565 MW), Brazil (1,055 MW), the Netherlands (1,878 MW), and Australia (1,363 MW).

Luke Lewandowski, Wood Mackenzie Research Director, said, “The global wind power industry will add nearly 1 TW of new capacity from 2021 to 2030, underscoring the important role wind technologies will play in the energy transition.


“China’s 1,200 GW target of wind and solar by 2030 will result in 408 GW of new wind capacity from 2021 to 2030, representing 41% of the global build. Offshore capacity in the country will grow by 73 GW during this period, an 800% increase in installed capacity in this sector.”

The rest of Asia Pacific will add 126 GW throughout Wood ‘Mackenzie’s 10-year outlook, with India accounting for half of that. Annual GW-scale offshore capacity additions in the region began this year, mainly driven by Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

In 2020, ‘India’s progress in adding wind capacity was, however, not impressive. India installed about 295 MW of wind projects in Q3 2020 – a near 117% increase from the preceding ‘quarter’s 136 MW, but a steep 48% decline from Q3 ‘2019’s 562 MW of installations, as per the Ministry of New and Renewable ‘Energy’s data. The ‘country’s wind power portfolio stood at about 38.1 GW as of September 30, 2020, up just 0.8% from June 30, 2020.

Lewandowski said, “Another key region that will spur wind power growth through 2030 is Europe. The ‘EU’s decarbonization plan will motivate 248 GW of new wind capacity over our 10-year outlook. Additionally, 66% of this capacity will be onshore due to larger turbine models unlocking space-constrained markets, the repowering of an aging fleet, and increased development in Eastern Europe”.”

A late 2020 extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) in the U.S. has strengthened near-term expectations of 35 GW of new capacity from 2021 to 2023. From 2024 through 2030, the country’s offshore capacity is expected to average 4.5 GW per year and comprise 40% of the annual wind turbine build.

Quoting from the BloombergNEF (BNEF) and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy’ Sustainable Energy in America Factbook,” Mercom had reported that wind installations hit a record high of 17.1 GW in the United States in 2020.

Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico will account for 90% of a record 16 GW of new capacity expected in Latin America between 2021 and 2023. This will be driven by an increase in commercial and industrial demand, coal retirements, and auctions.