According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, global onshore and offshore wind installations in 2010 will total approximately 37.7 GW, down 2% from 2009. However, 2011 will be a year of recovery, with 45 GW likely to come online, and an additional 48 GW to be integrated in both 2012 and 2013.
While activity in 2010 will remain roughly the same as in 2009, growth rates vary widely across regions, with the rapidly growing nations of the developing world leading the way, the company says. China, once again, will be the global leader and will install 25% more new capacity than in 2009, when the country set a record with 14 GW.
The U.S. market continues to be challenged by fallout from the financial crisis, low prices for traditional forms of power and an uncertain policy environment, Bloomberg New Energy Finance adds. Low natural-gas prices remain a particular problem, because they bring down the cost of gas-fired electricity and, therefore, make it hard for wind project developers to negotiate attractive power purchase agreements with U.S. utilities.
"Installation levels always lag financings, so what we are seeing this year is the effect of the collapse in investment activity at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009," says Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. "Investment levels are slowly recovering in Europe and the U.S."
"The emergence of China as the world's leading wind market in the last two years is driving a fundamental rebalancing of industrial focus," adds William Young, the company's head of wind industry research. "Chinese turbine manufacturers have muscled their way onto the top table, but at the same time, the shift offers significant opportunities to European, U.S. and Asian component suppliers."