According to BloombergNEF organization, almost half of the world’s electricity will be generated from renewable energy sources by 2050.
“More than three-quarters of the onshore wind and four-fifths of the solar PV capacity that is due to be commissioned in 2020 will produce power at lower prices than the cheapest new coal, oil or natural gas options”, the global database of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says.
Last year, the costs for all commercial renewable energy technologies decreased. For instance, the global weighted-average cost of electricity from solar photovoltaics and onshore wind energy declined by 13%, and geothermal and offshore wind – by 1%.
With over 600 GW of global capacity in 2018, wind energy has become the world’s key renewable energy sources. Recently, Power-technology.com has reported about the TOP 10 list of the world’s leading wind energy countries.
China is ranked first. With an installed capacity of 221 GW (over a third of the global capacity), the country is the world’s wind energy leader. The world’s largest onshore wind farm a total capacity of 7,965 MW, which is five times larger than its nearest rival from the USA, is based in China.
Gansu wind farm, China. Source: https://www.insidermonkey.com/
Installed wind power capacity reaches 96.4 GW in the United States of America. Six of the largest 10 onshore wind farms are located in the USA. Alta Wind Energy Centre in California, the world’s second largest onshore wind farm with a total capacity of 1,548MW, Shepherd’s Flat Wind Farm in Oregon (845 MW) and Roscoe Wind Farm in Texas (781.5 MW) are among them.
Having installations dating back to the 1970s, Alta Wind Energy Centre is also one of the oldest wind farms. Moreover, it is one of the strongest wind farms in the country producing USD 1 billion annually and providing more than 3,000 jobs.
Alta Wind Energy Centre, California (USA). Source: https://www.insidermonkey.com/
According to Wind Europe, European countries installed 11.7GW of wind energy in 2018. 29% (about 3.4 GW) of this capacity belongs to Germany.
With 59.3 GW, Germany has the highest installed wind capacity in Europe. Gode Windfarms, which have a combined capacity of 582 MW, are the largest Germany’s offshore wind farms.
India’s wind power sector is ranked second in Asia, with a total capacity of 35 GW. The country has the third- and fourth-largest onshore wind farms in the world – a 1,500-MW Muppandal in Tamil Nadu and Jaisalmer Wind Park in Rajasthan with a total capacity of 1,064 MW.
India has ambitious plans in wind energy sector. With 25 GW to be installed in the next three years, the Indian government aims at installing 60 GW of wind energy facilities by 2022.
Spain is a strong player in the global wind energy market, with a capacity of 23GW covering 18% of Spain’s electricity supply. Though none of its onshore or offshore wind farms are in the top 20 largest by capacity, the country is on fifth place.
Actually, Spanish wind industry has actually been declining over the past few years. Nothing was added In 2015, nothing was added to its energy mix, and just 104 MW of new facilities was installed in 2016-2017.
6. Great Britain
With over 20.7 GW, the UK has six of the 10 highest-capacity offshore wind projects in the world. The Walney project off the coast of Cumbria, North West England, is the world’s largest offshore wind project.
Walney offshore wind project, Great Britain. Source: https://www.businessinsider.co.za/
Its area is about 145 square kilometers, which is more than 20,000 soccer fields.
The Walney installation is set to be overtaken by the 1,218 MW Hornsea One project in the North Sea when it is fully completed in 2020.
France is ranked seventh. Its installed capacity reaches 15.3 GW.
France is currently moving away from nuclear power, which previously satisfied 75% of the country’s energy needs. It will fill the gap by increasing its renewable budget to EUR 71 billion for the period from 201 to 2028. This will allow France to triple its onshore wind capacity by 2030.
With its 14.5 GW, Brazil is a wind capacity leader in South America. In February 2019, the country’s wind power capacity increased by 8.9% year-on-year.
Wind power is in 4th place in Brazil’s energy mix, forming about 8% of its 162.5 GW energy capacity.
With 566 MW of new installed capacity added in 2018, Canada’s renewable energy capacity reaches 12.8 GW. Wind accounts for about 5% of Canada’s renewable energy supply, with hydroelectric way ahead at 67.5%.
Among 299 wind farms with 6,596 turbines, the 300-MW Rivière-du-Moulin project is the largest wind farm in Canada.
Italy, which reached over 10 GW in wind energy capacity in 2018, is in tenth place.
Italy’s wind power industry is concentrated mainly in the south and on its islands. With Puglia (248.5MW) and Campania (246.9MW) being its strongest markets, all of onshore wind capacity, operated by Italian energy company ERG, is based south of Rome.
A large wind farm in Campania, Italy