Global Wind Report 2018 released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) gives comprehensive information on the status of the wind industry on the planet. In 2018, 51.3 GW of new wind energy was installed globally. Despite the fact that this is 4% lower than in 2017, experts consider 2018 a good year for wind power which shows steady growth, with new markets in Asia, Latin America and Africa. The onshore market has added 46.8 GW, a decrease of 4.3% compared to 2017, but the offshore market with 4.5GW of new installations remained stable. Today, 8% of the new installed capacity is offshore. This share is forecast to increase to 22% by 2023.
China, market leader since 2008, added 23 GW in 2018, reaching about 210 GW of total cumulative wind power capacity. Another leader, the USA, is in second position, with 7.6 GW of new installed capacity, followed by Germany (3.4 GW). Despite the fact that India`s new installations slowed compared to 2017, the country is in third place with 2.2 GW. Brazil entered the Top 5 in 2018, with 1.9 GW new installations.
The total cumulative wind power capacity of the whole of Europe is 190 GW, adding 11.7 in 2018 (32% less than in 2017). This drop in the European market is due to lower volumes in Germany and the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, GWEC experts see Europe as a mature market that is expected to provide stable volume adding 10-15 GW per year. Europe, as well as the USA, is leading the way in integration of wind power into the electrical system.
10% of all new installations in 2018 account for developing markets in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and South-East Asia, with a combined installed capacity of 4.8 GW. Mexico showed positive results, adding 0.9 GW (500 MW more compared to 2017) and reaching a total cumulative wind power of almost 5 GW. Egypt and Kenya are leading markets on the African continent, reaching 380 MW and 310 MW of new installations, respectively.
In general, the wind power industry is represented in more than 90 countries, 30 of which have more than 1,000 MW installed and 9 more than 10,000.The total installed wind power capacity of the world is 591 GW and according to the GWEC forecast 55 GW of new offshore and onshore wind power capacity is expected to be installed each year until 2023.
The researches point out that wind energy plays a leading role in the energy transition process and the industry has three key challenges during this development: further cost reduction in order to generate energy efficiently, better integration of wind power into the energy system and managing the supply based on timing of demand in order to adequately compete with fossils.