The global wind industry is on track to deliver more than 680 gigawatts (680 billion watts) of new capacity over the next decade, according to two recent reports by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.
That total would more than double the 539 GW the industry had installed worldwide at the end of 2017, Greentech Media reports.
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Wood Mac’s research shows wind producers cutting their average cost per megawatt by 28% and increasing annual energy production per installed megawatt by 50% since 2010, Greentech states, with manufacturers now working to get generating costs down below 3.4¢ per kilowatt-hour.
“Now that auction systems are driving down power prices worldwide, product and service evolution is paramount,” said Wood Mackenzie lead author and senior analyst Shashi Barla. “While the shift away from generous incentive mechanisms leads to a short-term market dip, the forecast growth over the next decade makes the market ripe for innovation.”
He added that the industry will continue rapidly introducing new turbine products through at least 2020, with onshore producers trading up to above-four-megawatt machines “with barely a chance to recoup tooling costs”. Greentech says the larger turbines “were originally expected to sell only into European wind markets, but are now being touted in the U.S., Latin America, and other territories over the next two years.”
The second study, based on World Wind Energy Association figures, shows a growing appetite for offshore wind, with Europe expected to increase its capacity from 16 to 63 GW over the next decade. And lead author Luke Lewandowski, the company’s director of Americas power and renewables research, said other jurisdictions are taking notice.
“The European offshore wind power experience has encouraged governments in other regions to support offshore wind to comply with carbon reduction strategies and renewable energy targets as well as more firmly secure domestic power supply,” he told Greentech. Lewandowski cited Japan, South Korea, the United States, Australia, and Scandinavia as jurisdictions where offshore wind is gaining ground, while noting that conservative election wins in Brazil and parts of Canada could cloud the industry’s outlook.