Despite demonstrating a slowed growth rate, China will continue to be the largest wind power market in 2020, as it attempts to reduce its carbon footprint while increasing electricity production in rural areas, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.
According to the company's latest report*, China has doubled its cumulative wind capacity every year between 2006 and 2011, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 76% from 2006 to 2012. China, along with the US, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain and India, accounted for 74% of global installed wind capacity in 2012.
The global offshore wind power market will also grow significantly, with its capacity expected to reach 51.2 GW in 2020 from just 5.5 GW in 2012, growing at a CAGR of 32.3%, and with the UK leading the installations.
Additionally, global offshore wind power is going to be further explored across the world because of stronger and more consistent winds than onshore, with an increasing number of high-scale projects being developed, states the report.
Swati Singh, GlobalData's Power Sector Analyst, says: "The outlook for the wind energy sector appears positive, although future growth is expected to slow down during the forecast period. This is mainly due to continuing uncertainties in the US and the maturing European wind power market."
According to the report, the success of the Chinese wind power market can be attributed to a combination of market guidance and government encouragement, after the Chinese government introduced a number of financial and regulatory initiatives to promote renewable energy sources.
"Supportive government policies that include an attractive concessional program and the availability of low-cost financing from government banks are the main reasons for the growing wind power market in China. However, the growth rate will slow down in the forecast period due to insufficient infrastructure, low quality wind turbines, and questionable pricing policies," concludes Singh.
*Wind Power - Global Market Size, Turbine Market Share, Installation Prices, Regulations and Investment Analysis to 2020.