30 April 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos – A report by the Global Wind Energy Council, GWEC, has said the wind industry added over 52 gigawatts, GW, of wind power in 2017.
The amount of GW produced in 2017 fell short of the 54.6GW reported in 2016. But, GWEC said it expects production to increase next year and in 2020.
A breakdown of the report showed that China was the top wind energy producer in 2017 with a total of 19.7 GW while the European Union added 15.6 GW of capacity, and the U.S. produced a little over 7 GW of capacity.
Reacting to the report, the secretary general of the GWEC, Steve Sawyer, said that wind power was “leading the charge in the transition away from fossil fuels.”
“Both onshore and offshore, wind power is key to defining a sustainable energy future,” Sawyer added.
Cumulatively, the GWEC said this had reached 539 GW by the end of 2017, an increase of 11 percent compared to the previous year, adding that the sector would return to “dramatic growth” in 2019, with a cumulative capacity of 840 GW by 2022.
“We have a booming new market in Argentina, a return to form in South Africa, Mexico on the verge of dramatic growth, and a powerhouse building in India,” Sawyer said. “We see huge potential just beginning to be realized in Russia, Vietnam and even Saudi Arabia.”
He added that offshore was “spreading like wildfire across the globe” as a result of Europe’s patient and pioneering efforts to “bring the technology to cost-competitiveness.”
Recent research revealed that globally, a total of $2.9 trillion has been invested in green energy sources since 2004.
Globally, 157 GW of renewable power was commissioned last year.
The “Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018” report, published by United Nations Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, also found that found that China invested the largest amount of money in renewables last year, at $126.6 billion, representing a 31 percent increase compared to 2016.