Headwinds in several key markets, including the U.S. and Spain, slowed growth in the global wind power market dramatically in 2013. Still, wind power now supplies nearly 3% of the world’s electricity, and is expected to grow significantly over the next several years. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, wind power will deliver 7.3% of the electricity consumed worldwide by 2018.
“Last year was the first in which the wind industry experienced negative growth since 2004, but there are signs that the 2013 slowdown will turn out to be an anomaly,” said Feng Zhao, research director. “As wind turbine vendors search for new opportunities in emerging markets, primarily in Latin America and Africa, and develop machines for maximum energy production in low wind speed areas, the industry is expected to add another 250 gigawatts of capacity through 2018.”
Helping to drive that growth will be the offshore market, which saw 13 new projects installed in 2013, adding 1,720 megawatts—a 50% increase over 2012. Nearly half of all new offshore capacity in 2013 was installed in the UK, according to the report, with all of that capacity supplied by Siemens, the world’s largest supplier of offshore turbines.