PES asked Steve Sawyer, Secretary General at GWEC for his outlook on the future of the wind industry markets. Will prices continue to fall or have they reached their lowest point? Where is the market increasing? Where is it slowing down? Read on and find out…
The global wind power market remained above 50 GW in 2017, with Europe, India and the offshore sector all having record years. Chinese installations were down – 19.66 GW – but the rest of the world made up for most of that. Total installations in 2017 were 52,492 MW, bringing the global total to 539,123 MW. The annual market was in fact down 3.8% on 2016’s 54,642 MW; and the cumulative total is up 11% over 2016’s year-end total of 487,219 MW.
The offshore segment had a record year with 4,331 MW of installations, an 87% increase on the 2016 market, bringing total global installations to 18,814 MW, and representing a 30% increase in cumulative capacity globally. Offshore was about 8.4% of the 2017 annual market, and represents about 3.5% of cumulative installed capacity, but it’s growing quickly.
Total new investment in clean energy rose to US$ 333.5bn (€296.8bn1) in 2017, up 3% over 2016, but still lower than the record investment of USD 348.5bn (EUR 324.6bn) in 2015. According to BNEF, China alone accounted for 40% of total investment with US$ 133bn (EUR 118.7bn); and the Asia Pacific region as a whole invested US$ 187 billion, over 57% of the total. Total investment in wind amounted to 107 billion US$.2
Cratering prices for both onshore and offshore wind continue to surprise. Markets in such diverse locations as Morocco, India, Mexico, Brazil and Canada range in the area of US$ 0.03/kWh, with a recent Mexican tender coming in with prices below US$ 0.02. I think we can safely consign the phrase ‘renewables are too expensive’ to the dustbin of history.
1 Exchange rate used for USD to EUR conversion (USD1 = EUR 0.89)