The size of the global wind power market increased from $71.6bn in 2010 to $96.4bn in 2018, which represents a 35% increase. 

During 2019–2030, on the back of significant capacity additions in the Asia-Pacific region, the market is expected to reach $124.5bn in 2030, according to GlobalData. If realised, such an increase would signify a rise of 29% based on 2018 figures.

A major boost in the investment is due to increase in capacity installations, led by countries such as China, the US, Germany, and India. The need for clean, reliable and affordable power is the most significant underlying factor for the wind power market growth. The regulatory framework and policy structure supporting wind power in various regions and countries has led to significant developments for the industry and has seen the leading wind power nations adopt growth trajectories.

Global installed wind power capacity increased from 197.6 gigawatts (GW) in 2010 to 594.5 GW in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.8%. This growth was largely driven by favourable government policies in countries such as China, the US, Germany, Canada, Brazil and India. 

China, with around 45.3% of total capacity additions was the global leader in terms of capacity additions, which saw the country reach the 212 GW cumulative installations mark as of 2018.

The company’s latest report ‘Wind Power Market, Update 2019 – Global Market Size, Average Price, Turbine Market Share, and Key Country Analysis to 2030’ reveals that China is the global leader both in terms of capacity additions and cumulative wind capacity in 2018.

Harshavardhan Reddy Nagatham, Industry Analyst at GlobalData said the Asia-Pacific was the largest market in terms of cumulative installed wind power capacity with 262.2 GW in 2018. Europe and North America also had significant cumulative capacities with around 200 GW and 100 GW respectively, in 2018. South and Central America, and MEA had smaller capacities, but are expected to grow during 2019–2030. China and the US will continue to dominate the wind power market in terms of capacity during the forecast period of 2019-2030. 

China installed around 23 GW in 2018 and its total wind installed capacity reached 212 GW. With mounting international pressure to cut emissions, China will continue to add large wind power capacities of around 20GW each year during the forecast period and reach 447 GW by the end of 2030.

GlobalData’s report also finds that offshore wind power will gain popularity and increase its share of total capacity addition during 2019–2030. Currently, the share of offshore wind power in the total global cumulative wind power capacity is 4.2%. This is expected to increase significantly to 9.6% in 2030.

Nagatham said: “Onshore wind power has been the dominant wind power technology so far and offshore installations have been minuscule in comparison. This is set to change significantly with a few countries’ large scale offshore installations that are already underway. China, UK, and Germany will lead the way in offshore installations during 2019–2030. The concerted R&D efforts of various organisations globally are expected to drive down the cost of installing offshore wind farms.

Germany and the UK have had significant offshore capacity additions during 2015–2018 with annual additions as high as 2.3 GW in Germany in 2015 and 1.7 GW in UK in 2017. Both the countries will make large offshore capacity additions during 2019–2030. China has had increasing capacity additions each year during 2010–2018 and will add 1–3 GW each year during 2019–2030. The US, on the other hand, doesn’t have any significant offshore capacity currently but is set to add 1–2 GW of offshore wind capacity each year during 2023–2030.

Until a few years ago, feed-in tariffs (FiTs) have been the major government initiative to drive the growth of wind energy. However, with the changing scenario, an auction-based bidding mechanism has been driving wind power in most of the key wind power markets and is likely to do so in the years to come. This increases cost competitiveness, and also encourages state-owned distribution utilities to award wind power projects through a bidding route. Recent wind auctions in several countries have resulted in reduced onshore wind power prices. 

In the Asia Pacific region, India is the second-largest wind power market after China. India is also the fourth largest wind power market in the world after China, the US and Germany. Since 2017, most of India’s wind power capacity has been allocated to developers through the auction mechanism veering the wind power market away from FiTs. Other countries in the Asia Pacific region are also expected to eventually prefer this competitive form of capacity building, said Nagatham.

Wind power market, global, share of offshore cumulative capacity (%), 2010–2030

Source: GlobalData Power Database