Wind renewable regional market growth management
Wind renewable energy applications have been growing in various key emerging economies and regional markets globally. Onshore wind has become the most cost-effective option for new grid-based power in many emerging economics and developed countries globally. These included Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Turkey, Australia, China, Europe and the United
States. Offshore wind has also been attracting lower tenders and higher interests in many countries. There are also serious challenges for wind power growth on both the onshore and offshore sectors. These serious challenges included lack of transmission infrastructures, delays in grid connections, public concerns, etc. In some countries, curtailment has been a serious issue for wind energy growth. These curtailments have been caused when regulations and management systems have made it difficult to integrate large numbers of variable wind renewable power supplies into existing national grids. A good country example is that the renewable curtailment problems in China have costed Chinese wind renewable industry significant revenue losses in recent years. The details of wind renewable power developments in various key regional markets in Asia, Americas, the EU, the Middle East and Africa will be discussed in more detail below with regional business examples (REN, 2018).
Asian wind renewable market growths
Asia has become one of the largest regional wind energy markets globally in recent years. Half of the newly added wind capacities globally have taken place in Asia. Europe and North America have been accounting for most of the rest. The growths in wind deployment in Asia have been driven by the rising cost competitiveness of wind power and by the need for environmental improvements. In Asia, wind power has become one of the most cost-competitive options for new power generating capacities compared to other fossil power options. Looking ahead, continued wind power growths in some of the largest Asian markets would be dependent on continued future policy supports from the governments of various emerging economies in Asia. These would be necessary to avoid the cyclical or policy-related slowdowns which have been affecting other markets globally.
China has become a global leader in wind renewable power and has accounted for one-third of total global installed renewable wind capacities. However, new wind installations have been declining due to reductions in China’s feed-in tariffs (FITs). These FIT declines have also been caused by weaker growths in electricity demands and various grid integration challenges. The top provinces for wind capacity in China included Yunnan, Hebei and Jiangsu. The northern and western provinces in China have been home to a significant portion of China’s installed wind power capacity historically. However, new wind installations have also been rising in the southern and eastern regions. These shifts in growths have been driven by new regulations to steer investments away from the high curtailment areas plus to meet the faster electricity demand growths in the southern and eastern regions. Despite the introductions of new regulations by the central government of the PRC on guaranteed annual full load hours for wind energy, curtailment has still remained a major challenge in China. These have been caused by a variety of factors including poor grid connections, lack of transmission infrastructures, slower-than-expected demands’ growth and the grid managers’ preference for coal-fired generation.
Elsewhere in Asia, India has continued to install new wind power capacities which helped to firm up its fourth place position for total installed wind capacities globally. Turkey has also continued to add new wind capacities making it to rank amongst the top ten countries globally for new capacities. Pakistan, South Korea, North Korea and Japan have also added new wind capacities. Indonesia has also been constructing its first utility-scale wind farm. Vietnam and Australia have also been installing more new wind renewable power capacities.
American wind renewable market growths
The USA has been ranked second globally for new wind renewable power additions and cumulative wind capacities plus for wind power generation. Wind renewable power has accounted for one-fourth of newly installed US power generating capacities. Wind renewable power has been ranked third after solar PV and natural gas, for the gross new generation capacity additions in the USA. Leading US states for wind renewable power included Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, Nebraska, etc. US utility companies have been investing strongly in wind renewable power, with some going beyond the state mandates and based on favourable economics. The increasing cost competitiveness of wind power has also driven a diverse range of new companies to enter the growing US wind renewable market (REN, 2018).
Canada has also continued to add new wind renewable power, albeit growths have slowed down. Wind energy has represented Canada’s largest source of new electricity generation for the past decade. The leading provinces with wind renewable energy included Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, etc.
Latin America and the Caribbean have been the next largest region with wind renewable power in the Americas region. Brazil has continued to lead the Latin America region and has also been ranked amongst the global top ten countries in terms of wind renewable capacity. Wind power has been supplying near to 6% of the electricity demands in Brazil. Other countries in the region to add new wind capacities included Chile, Mexico, Uruguay and Peru. Both Chile and Uruguay have passed the 1 GW cumulative wind renewable power capacities in their countries.
European wind renewable market growths
New onshore and offshore wind facilities are being installed in various EU countries, despite some recent slowdowns. New wind renewable power has become the leading new power capacity additions in the EU region, followed by solar PV and then new fossil fuel power capacity at third place. Sixteen EU member states had installed more than 1 GW of wind power in their countries. However, ongoing economic slowdowns and austerity measures, combined with the transition from regulated prices, under FITs, to competitive tenders for new wind projects, have affected EU wind growths (REN, 2018).
Seven EU member states have also set new renewable energy targets beyond 2020 as part of their Paris Agreement commitments. The top five EU markets for wind renewable capacities include Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Poland. These five markets have accounted for 75% of the EU region’s newly added wind capacities.
Germany has become the largest European wind market. Germany’s wind boom has been driven largely by the regulatory shift from guaranteed FITs to competitive auctions for most renewable installations since January 2017. Elsewhere in Europe, Russia has also awarded about 700 MW of new wind projects in its first wind power auction in 2016.
Middle East and Africa MEA wind renewable market
In the Middle East and Africa region, there have been growing interests in wind renewable energy. A good example is that Saudi Arabia has commissioned its first utility-scale wind turbine power station and announced a 400 MW tender for a new wind renewable plant.
In Africa, some countries have been added new wind renewable installations. A good example is Kenya’s Lake Turkana wind project. The Lake Turkana project with 310 MW wind capacity is the single largest private renewable investment in Kenya’s history to date. It will represent approximately 15% of Kenya’s generating capacity when completed. It will also become Africa’s largest wind farm after completion (REN, 2018).