Global wind power capacity to double by 2016, trade group says

Source: E&E • Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Global wind energy capacity is expected to double by 2016 as installations continue to grow in newer markets like India and Brazil, with world capacity reaching 493 gigawatts in 2016, the Global Wind Energy Council said in a report released today.

That is up from 238 GW in 2011 and despite the fact that U.S. additions are expected to decline in the next year, the industry lobby said.

Asia will remain the largest market for wind turbines, led by China and much of the growth coming from India. In Europe, Spanish installations are expected to dip but will be countered by gains in Romania, Poland, Turkey and Sweden. And in Latin America, Brazil is expected to continue to grow its installations.

U.S. production is expected to drop because of the uncertain future of a key tax credit, which grants an incentive worth 2.2 cents a kilowatt-hour. It expires at the end of the year. When it was allowed to lapse at the end of 2003, U.S. wind installations declined from 1,670 megawatts in 2003 to 397 MW in 2004.

“Wrapped up in the politics of a presidential election year, anything could happen,” Steve Sawyer, the lobby’s secretary-general, said in the report (Alex Morales, Bloomberg, April 17).