LONDON- More than 60 gigawatts (GW) of wind energy capacity was installed around the world last year, driven by market-based mechanisms such as capacity auctions, a market outlook by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) showed on Wednesday.
New installations totalled 60.4 GW, up 19% from a year earlier and the second biggest annual addition on record.
Overall, total wind energy capacity last year was more than 651 GW, up 17% from 2018.
The main driver of the growth was market-based mechanisms, with auctioned wind capacity surpassing 40 GW worldwide, accounting for two-thirds of total new capacity, the report said.
In 2019, China and the United States remained the world’s largest onshore wind markets, together accounting for more than 60% of new capacity.
GWEC forecasts that more than 355 GW of wind energy capacity added over the next five years, equivalent to 71 GW of wind energy added each year to the end of 2024.
"This forecast will undoubtedly be impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, due to disruptions to global supply chains and project execution in 2020," said Feng Zhao, strategy director at GWEC.
"However, it is too soon to predict the extent of the virus’ impact on the wider global economy and energy markets," Zhao said.
GWEC said it will revise its 2020-2024 forecasts in the light of the impact of coronavirus on the global economy and energy markets and publish an updated market outlook in the second quarter of this year.
GWEC is a member-based organisation which represents the wind energy sector. Members represent over 1,500 companies, organisations and institutions in more than 80 countries.
(Reporting by Nina Chestney Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +44 (0)207 542 8071; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))