Global wind energy set for five years of record growth: research

FILE PHOTO: Acciona Windpower 1.5 MW wind turbine generators are seen on Tatanka Wind Farm as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in Brandt, South Dakota, U.S., October 27, 2020. REUTERS/Bing Guan

LONDON (Reuters) - Wind energy will achieve record growth globally over the next five years, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) trade association said on Thursday, as the impact of COVID-19 has only been to delay, not cancel, projects.

“While some project completion dates have been pushed into 2021 due to the pandemic, next year is expected to be a record year for the wind industry with 78 GW (gigawatts) of new wind capacity forecast to be installed in 2021,” GWEC said in an outlook report.

In total some 348 GW of new onshore and offshore capacity are expected by the end of 2024, which would take cumulative wind power capacity to almost 1,000 GW, GWEC said.

“Over 50% of the onshore wind capacity added between 2020 to 2024 will be installed in China and the U.S., led by installation rushes to meet subsidy deadlines,” it added.

The costs of wind energy have fallen rapidly over the last few years and are expected to continue to decrease. Governments are also under pressure to cut carbon emissions, which is helping to shift investment away from fossil fuel and into renewable energy, such as wind.

Reporting by Nina Chestney; editing by Barbara Lewis