Wind Outlook 2017:
A Solid Year Despite
Pockets of Global Unrest
With more than 1 million people employed in wind, the sector will
grow in key markets around the globe.
JENNIFER RUNYON, Chief Editor
When discussing the outlook for the 2017 wind market, it’s very
clear that the wind industry has arrived. Yes, problems remain
in many markets across the globe but the fact that wind exists
in many markets across the globe means that it will steadily
march on in 2017. According to the latest statics from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), 28 countries around the world
have more than 1 GW of installed wind capacity and more than
1,100,000 people are employed by the sector.
Most analysts predict the year will be a solid one with either
modest growth or slight contraction. In 2015, 63 GW of wind
capacity was installed worldwide and that number is expected
to remain about the same in 2016 and 2017.
Analysts interviewed by Renewable Energy World favored
Mexico and Turkey as two important markets to watch in 2017,
with the U.S., China, Canada and parts of Latin America also
looking to stay the course. Europe may experience a slightly
“Globally, China is the primary wildcard,” said Eric Lantz
an Energy Analyst with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Lantz said that the market in China will
“probably determine whether there is an increase globally
or a decrease and some of the chatter in China suggests that
there may be lower levels of installed capacity on the horizon,” he added.
Steve Sawyer, CEO of GWEC agrees that China is one of two
very large variables in terms of global wind capacity growth.
He said that he has “been
hearing rumors of a Chi-
nese slowdown,” but added
that he had heard that last
year as well “so I’ll withhold
On the other hand, a cut
to the Feed in Tariff in China
is expected to take effect on
January 1, 2018, something
that could add urgency to
developers getting projects up