A new report published by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) highlights the need for drastic market growth to stay on course for a 1.5 degrees pathway and net-zero by 2050, despite the wind industry enjoying its second-best year ever in 2021.
The Global Wind Report 2022 shows that almost 94 gigawatts (GW) of wind energy capacity was added globally in 2021, just 1.8 per cent less than the year-over-year wind energy growth rate in 2020. However, there are calls for this growth to quadruple by the end of the decade if the world is to meet its net-zero targets.
With the addition of 93.6 GW of power, the total cumulative wind power capacity to 837 GW, which is year-over-year growth of 12 per cent. While the world’s two biggest markets, China and the US, installed less new onshore wind capacity last year – 30.7 GW and 12.7 GW respectively – other regions enjoyed record years. Europe, Latin America, and Africa & the Middle East, increased new onshore installations by 19 per cent, 27 per cent, and 120 per cent, respectively.
The offshore wind market enjoyed its best-ever year in 2021, with 21.1 GW commissioned. That represents three times more than the previous year. China’s mammoth year of offshore installations accounted for 80 per cent of that growth, helping it pass the UK as the world’s largest offshore wind market in cumulative installations.