Global Wind Energy Outlook 2012

Ethical Markets Green Prosperity

The Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace International are pleased to present this fourth edition of the Global Wind Energy Outlook for 2012, the latest product of a collaboration that goes back to 1999. A lot has happened in the intervening years.
Wind power has now established itself as a mainstream electricity generation source, and plays a central role in an increasing number of countries’ immediate and longer term energy plans. After 15 years of average cumulative growth rates of about 28%, the commercial wind power installations in about 80 countries at the end of last year totalled about 240 GW, having increased by more than 40 times over that same period. Twenty two countries have more than 1,000 mW installed.
The very fact of the size of the industry, however, means that it is not immune to the seismic shocks that have battered the global economy over the past several years. Demand growth is very slow, non- existent or negative in most of the oeCD, so demand for new power generation of any kind is slim, and the competition is fierce. China has been the main driver of the growth of the industry for the last five years, but we said it couldn’t go on forever, and now it’s stopped: we don’t expect significant growth in the Chinese market until after 2015, although it is still likely to be the market leader. brazil, India, Canada and mexico are very dynamic markets, but cannot yet make up for the lack of growth in the traditional markets in europe, the US and China. There are many exciting new markets in Latin America, Africa and Asia where we see major potential for growth in the medium to long term; but absent a new means for putting a global price on carbon, new demand growth in the oeCD borne on a strong economic recovery, or some other unforeseen development, the industry’s rate of growth will slow substantially in the coming few years.
but the Global Wind energy outlook isn’t about the next few years, it’s about what the industry will look like in 2020, 2030 and beyond. Despite the current market turbulence, all of the fundamentals which have driven the dramatic growth of the industry over the past two decades are still there, and will only get stronger over time: energy security; electricity price stability; job creation and local economic development; reducing fresh water consumption and pollution; reducing local air pollution; and of course reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
As in the past, we use the International energy Agency’s World energy outlook as a baseline in terms of the definition of regions, GDP, electricity demand, and population growth, etc. but rather than the old ‘reference’ scenario, which defined a business-as-usual that everyone knew just wasn’t going to happen, the IeA’s New Policies scenario is now the central scenario in the World energy outlook, and we have adopted it as our baseline as well.
With a newly updated energy efficiency Demand scenario, we once again examine three development paths for the industry: the IeA New Policies scenario, the GWeo moderate scenario, and the GWeo Advanced scenario; and measure them against two different demand scenarios to define a range of possible futures for the sector, both regionally and globally. We hope that you find it useful.