GWEC releases 2018 Wind Energy report


The Global Wind Energy Council has released the 14th edition of its Global Wind Report, which attempts to present a comprehensive global view of both the onshore and offshore wind energy sector.

According to the report, 2018 was a positive year for the wind energy industry, with 51.3 GW of new installations reported for the period.

Market-based mechanisms such as tenders, auction and Green Certificates are cited as the main drivers of new installations.

The future outlook is strong, said the group, with over 300GW of capacity expected to be installed by 2024.

In the short term, the report says, growth can be spurred by increased governmental support in the form of renewables targets, and auction and tender programmes.

Opportunities for wind energy in the commercial sector are increasing as the low-cost of wind has been proven, and bilateral agreements such as corporate PPA’s grow,

Three main global trends:

Aside from governmental participation and regulation, three global trends are identified as the main drivers of growth, namely,

  • The changing business models of industry participants,
  • Increased volume in corporate procurement outside of already-matured markets
  • Solutions like hybrid-generation plants and other value-focussed solutions are opening opportunities for wind energy

The changing business models of the main stakeholders in the industry, such as utilities, and specialist grid solutions companies are intensifying competition, and driving growth.

Digitilisation opportunities are increasing, and new players who offer new competencies and solutions are causing disruption, whilst traditional players are revising their business models to invest in areas outside of their core business.

Corporate power procurement has caused steady growth as the sector adopts wind as main preference for power procurement in mature markets.

Wind has the potential to propel further demand but support from local regulators and authorities is required to make this happen. Taking corporate procurement outside of mature markets can unlock even further volume for wind.

Wind is enjoying increased focus as a high-value energy source, but regulatory adjustments are needed to account for this value.

Regional highlights from the report include:


  • China had the highest proportion of new wind installations in 2018, in both the offshore (40%) and onshore (45%) sectors.
  • South-East Asian governments in markets like Vietnam and the Philippines have set targets for wind energy deployment to increase installations.
  • Indonesia and Thailand have plans in place to reduce their reliance on nuclear and fossil fuels.

Latin America

  • The Latin American wind market has grown over the past decade, with installations totalling 25 GW.
  • Auctions and tenders will propel installations in the region. Countries like Brazil and Argentina for example, have been conducting joint-capacity auctions for onshore wind and solar.
  • Columbia is establishing itself as an emerging market for wind, with the country’s government targeting 1.5 GW of renewable capacity by 2022.

Africa and the Middle East

  • South Africa, Egypt, Kenya and Morocco are expected to lead onshore wind installations, to total over 6 GW of new capacity by 2023.
  • Egypt was responsible for the highest capacity additions on the continent in 2018, adding 380MW of wind.

To view the report, click here.

Do you care about the future of women’s careers in the energy sector? The GWEC’s Women in Wind Programme is determined to drive equal opportunity in the wind energy sector. You’ll enjoy this two-minute report on the programme.