A world record has been set in new wind power installations in 2020 with the addition of 93 gigawatts (GW) of new wind turbines, around 50% more than the previous year, according to World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) report on Wednesday.
The total capacity of all wind farms worldwide has now reached 744 GW, which is sufficient to generate 7% of the world’s electricity demand.
The strong growth comes as a surprise to some observers as many countries reported delays over the past year due to disrupted international supply chains and lack of available labor.
"This strong development was achieved despite the pandemic. While Covid-19 appears to be slowing developments in some countries, it has generally not had any negative impact but rather seemed to accelerate the switch to wind and other renewable energies," the report said.
- China leading both in increases and total capacity
According to the report, China was still in a class of its own and built around 52 GW within one year, which corresponds to a market share of 56%.
"With this addition, China now has installed wind capacity of 289 gigawatts, 39% of global capacity," the report said.
The US, which has maintained its number 2 position globally, also grew extraordinarily by almost 17 GW and reached 122 GW in 2020.
Commenting on the results, WWEA Secretary-General, Stefan Gsanger said they are very encouraged by the strong growth in the wind sector in 2020.
"Given that many governments become more committed to greenhouse gas-free renewable energy sources, we are very confident that such growth will also happen in the future, and becomes even stronger," he said.
With increased efforts, he said there is a possibility that the world will get on track to meet the goals of the Paris agreement and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
By Gulsen Cagatay