Developers Ordered a Record-Breaking 100 GW of New Wind Capacity in 2019

Wind turbines near the Walla Walla River in Washington.

Wind turbines near the Walla Walla River in Washington. Umptanum / Wikimedia Commons

Wind developers around the globe ordered nearly 100 gigawatts (GW) of new turbine capacity in 2019, a new record and a 65 percent increase over the previous year, according to data from the market research firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. Nearly half of this new capacity was ordered in China, Greentech Media reported.

The orders, which total $78 billion, represent remarkable growth for the global wind industry, which has typically installed 50 to 60 GW of new capacity annually. But Wood Mackenzie cautioned that there is a chance not all 100 GW of the ordered capacity will be built — especially with the current coronavirus outbreak disrupting global supply chains.

The “nearly irrepressible demand” for new wind power in China was primarily driven by wind project developers taking advantage of feed-in tariffs before they expired this year. In addition, developers were taking advantage of expanded transmission capacity in China, Luke Lewandowski, Wood Mackenzie’s research director, said in a statement.

Developers globally ordered 17 GW of offshore wind turbines in 2019, with significant increases in orders from Taiwan, Vietnam, and elsewhere in Asia. And demand for onshore turbines larger than four megawatts increased 202 percent over previous years, with 8 GW of these massive turbines ordered in China alone.