Wind power capacity additions in the World amounted to 52.6 GW in 2017, 3.7% below the previous year, reaching a total capacity of 539.6 GW, according to Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).
In Asia, China remained the undisputed world’s wind power leader, connecting 19.5 GW, a slight decrease compared to 2016’s additions (23.3 GW), rising its total wind capacity to 188.2 GW. 2017 was also a strong year for India that installed 4.1 GW, cementing its position as fourth largest wind market in the world.
Regarding North America, the US was the world’s second player in capacity additions, with 7.0 GW installed in 2017, fuelled by Texas (2.3 GW), Oklahoma (0.9 GW), Kansas (0.7 GW), New Mexico (0.6 GW) and Iowa (0.4 GW). Cumulative capacity reached 89.1 GW with Texas remaining the leader with 22.6 GW, over than three times more than any other state. Canada and Mexico had both modest years in terms of new capacity, with only 0.3 GW and 0.5 GW respectively.
In Europe, 2017 was a record year for both onshore and offshore installations, with 16.8 GW of new capacity coming online , an increase of 21% versus the previous year. Germany remained the most dynamic market, connecting 6.6 GW and representing 39% of all of Europe’s new capacity. Six more EU countries had also a record year in terms of additions: namely the UK (4.3 GW), France (1.7 GW), Finland (0.6 GW), Belgium (0.5 GW), Ireland (0.4 GW) and Croatia (0.1 GW). With these results, Germany sealed its place as the EU country with the largest installed wind power capacity (56.1 GW), followed by Spain (23.2 GW), the UK (18.9 GW) and France (13.8 GW).
Concerning Latin America, Brazil had an outstanding year, adding 2.0 GW of installed capacity but for the remaining countries in the region it was a rather quiet year. Other emerging economies that achieved good results in capacity additions were South Africa (0.6 GW), Thailand and Pakistan (0.2 GW each).
2017 was also the best year ever for offshore wind, with Europe installing 3.2 GW, a 25% growth versus 2016, achieving a cumulative capacity of 15.8 GW, being this surge propelled by the UK and Germany, which added 1.7 GW and 1.2 GW, respectively. The sector remains highly concentrated in a few countries, with the UK, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands and Belgium representing a 98% share of the total installed capacity. 2017 will undoubtedly be remembered as a landmark year for the offshore wind industry also because the first floating offshore wind farm (30 MW) was connected in the coast of Scotland. China and other countries in Asia are also showing some progress; according to Platts, China installed 1.2 GW in 2017, bringing its total offshore capacity to 2.8 GW, while Japan, South Korea and Taiwan only saw small additions. Offshore wind is also starting to kick-off in the US.
Solar PV market grew by 26% in 2017, making it the best year ever, with 99 GW of capacity additions, according to GTM Research.
China surpassed the astonishing milestone of 50 GW, installing around 52 GW according to China’s National Energy Administration, a record figure never seen before and clearly above expert’s estimates.
According to GTM Research, the US added 11.8 GW of solar PV in 2017, a 22% decline versus 2016, due to the spike in installations in 2016 from projects scheduled to come online before the expected drop-down of the ITC.
Europe added 8.6 GW in 2017, according to Solar Power Europe, representing a year-on-year growth of 28%. The big surprise came from Turkey which installed 1.8 GW of solar technology, overtaking Germany (1.75 GW) as Europe’s most dynamic solar market. France and the Netherlands also showed signs of progress, adding 0.9 GW each.