GWEC: China breaks world record with 2020 wind installations

China
Image credit: Stock

According to the latest data released by GWEC Market Intelligence, 2020 was a record year for wind power growth in the Asia Pacific, with China installing 52GW of new wind power capacity.

That is double what the country installed in 2019 and more capacity installed in a single year by any country in history.

In addition to China, Australia (1,097MW), Japan (449MW), Kazakhstan (300MW), and Sri Lanka (88MW) all had record years for wind power in 2020.

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Although India (1,119MW) ranked second in terms of new wind power capacity in the region in 2020, last year was the lowest year on record for new wind installations for the country since 2004 due to regulatory and infrastructure bottlenecks.

Image credit: Global Wind Energy Council

Altogether, the region installed 56GW of new wind power capacity in 2020, a 78% year-on-year increase and nearly the same capacity that was installed globally in 2019. This brings total capacity in the region to nearly 347GW, which helps to avoid 510 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually ” equivalent to taking 110 million passenger cars off the road.

Feng Zhao, Head of Market Intelligence and Strategy at GWEC commented: “Asia Pacific is the region with the most wind power capacity globally, with the region installing over 60 per cent of all new global wind power capacity in 2020. The incredible and rapid growth of wind power in the region has been led by China, which now has more wind power capacity than Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America combined. We were expecting an installation rush in China last year due to the phase-out of the onshore wind Feed-in-Tariff by the end of 2020, but the Chinese wind market exceeded our original forecasts by over 73 percent.”

“In order for China to achieve its goal of net zero by 2060, the country needs to be installing over 50GW of wind power capacity per year from 2021-2025, and 60GW from 2026 onwards. Although installation levels were on track with these targets in 2020, China now must ensure that this level of growth can be sustained in a subsidy-free era,”, Feng Zhao added.

According to Liming Qiao, Head of GWEC Asia, new power markets are starting to emerge in Asia Pacific which will become increasingly important growth drivers for the wind industry over the next decade. Vietnam, for example, has great potential, however, policy frameworks must be put in place to provide a long-term horizon for market development.

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