Global Wind Capacity Surges in 2023, China Leads Growth: IEA

By Editor


The International Energy Agency (IEA) has reported a significant surge in global wind capacity additions in 2023, jumping nearly 60 percent and surpassing the previous record set in 2020.

Onshore wind projects spearheaded the growth, constituting over 85 percent of the global wind expansion. China emerged as the frontrunner, contributing to more than 60 percent of the global wind expansion, nearly doubling its additions compared to 2022.

However, the European Union experienced a modest increase of less than 10 percent in wind additions, primarily due to a slowdown in onshore wind deployment. Developers in Europe faced various challenges, including escalating equipment costs, inflation, and supply chain bottlenecks, dampening their enthusiasm to participate in competitive auctions. In response, many European countries introduced policies aimed at addressing slow and cumbersome permitting procedures for wind projects, implementing more changes in the past two years than in the entire previous decade. Nevertheless, the effects of these policies are expected to materialize in the coming years as project development timelines unfold.

In contrast, the United States witnessed a decline of over a quarter in wind additions in 2023 compared to the previous year, attributed mainly to uncertainty surrounding the extension of tax credits prior to the adoption of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). This uncertainty led to an empty project pipeline and supply chain disruptions. However, wind capacity additions are anticipated to rebound significantly in the coming years, driven by the long-term policy clarity provided by the IRA.

India experienced a nearly 50 percent increase in year-on-year deployment, fueled by a larger number of projects awarded in previous years.

While offshore wind growth rebounded from a decline in 2022, it failed to surpass the record level of additions seen worldwide in 2021. Outside of China, the offshore wind industry grappled with investment costs soaring more than 20 percent higher than just a few years ago. Notably, in 2023, developers in the United States and the United Kingdom canceled or postponed 15 GW of offshore wind projects due to pricing discrepancies that didn’t reflect the increased costs of project development.

The collective deployment of wind power from 2019 to 2023 resulted in the avoidance of approximately 830 Mt of CO2 emissions annually, surpassing the annual emissions of Germany. Once again, China led the rankings in terms of the largest avoided emissions. In the European Union, wind power deployment over the five-year period prevented emissions equivalent to almost 5 percent of the region’s annual emissions in 2023.

Baburajan Kizhakedath

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