UK wind energy whips forward according to latest generation statistics

The UK is leading the world in wind power new statistics from the Global Wind Energy Council have revealed. The UK generates 4,500MW offshore the country increased its total wind capacity by 1736MW or 16% in 2014, making it the sixth largest producer in the world.

 After a slowdown in 2013, the wind industry generally set a new record for annual installations in 2014, says the GWEC in its report ‘Global wind energy statistics 2014’. Around the world 51,477MW of new wind generating capacity was added with the record-setting figure represents a 44% increase in the annual market. “It is a solid sign of the recovery of the industry after a rough patch in the past few years,” said GWEC. Total cumulative installations stand at 369,553 MW at the end of 2014.

"China continues to drive global growth, setting a new record in 2014 with 23,351GW of new wind power, representing 45% of the global market" - GWEC

"Wind power is the most competitive way of adding new power generation capacity to the grid in a rapidly increasing number of markets around the world, even when competing against heavily subsidised incumbents," said Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General.

"Wind is a rapidly maturing technology, with proven reliability and competitiveness. Not only the low prices but also the cost-stability of wind power makes it a very attractive option for utilities, independent power producers and companies who are looking for a hedge against the wildly fluctuating prices of fossil fuels." 

China continues to drive global growth, setting a new record in 2014 with 23,351GW of new wind power, representing 45% of the global market, and dominating the world-leading Asian market's total installations of 26,161MW. India's 2,315MW was a distant second, although the stage is now set for a new round of market growth in that country.

The European market grew marginally in 2014, with 12,820MW of new capacity, and just shy of 2012's record. Germany's 5,279MW of new capacity smashed the old record and cemented its position as European market leader, with the UK, even though it is breaking its own records, still a long way second at 1,736MW. Sweden passed the 1,000MW mark for the first time with 1,050MW, and France was the last of four European markets surpassing 1GW with 1,042MW installed last year.  

Africa's largest wind farm came on line with the commissioning of the 300MW Tarfaya plant in Morocco, and South Africa's market made a strong start with 560MW, pushing African totals to 934MW, the report said. 

Brazil's 2,472MW in new installations led Latin American installations of 3,749MW, although Chile (506MW) and Uruguay (405MW) also made “strong showings” the GWEC said. The US market recovered in 2014 from 2013's nadir with 4,854MW, Canada (1,871MW) set a new record and Mexico (522MW) was solid. Australia's 567MW showed that the renewables industry in Australia is not dead, “despite the best efforts of the government to kill it” GWEC said.

"The wind power industry is a key solution to climate change, air pollution, energy security, price stability and a driver of new industries and employment," said Sawyer. "Let's hope the climate negotiators get that message and come up with something useful in Paris in December."

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