Global Wind Energy Market

The wind power generation industry has grown rapidly and expanded worldwide in recent years to meet high global demand for clean electricity. According to BNEF, from 2000 to 2014, the cumulative global power generating capacity in gigawatts, or GWs, grew at an average annual rate of 25%. Cumulative installed capacity is led by China (approximately 110 GWs), the United States (approximately 64 GWs) and Germany (approximately 40 GWs). In addition, from 2008 to 2014, the cumulative global power generating capacity of wind turbine installations in GWs increased by more than three times. Wind energy is now used in over 80 countries, 24 of which have more than 1 GW installed. The rapid growth in the wind power generation industry has been driven by population growth and the associated increase in electricity demand, widespread emphasis on expanded use of renewable energy and water resource management, the increasing effectiveness and cost- competitiveness of wind energy and accelerated urbanization in developing countries, among other factors.

Onshore wind LCOE—which reflects the levelized cost of energy per megawatt hour of a generation project over its lifetime—is now on par with combined new cycle gas turbines and substantially below solar photovoltaic, according to IEA. The advancement of turbine technology, including larger rotor diameters and higher hub heights, has increased energy capture, thus reducing LCOE for onshore wind. For a further discussion of LCOE, see “Our Industry—Global Wind Energy Market.” The proliferation of cost-effective wind generation enhances energy resource diversity and mitigates the price volatility associated with fossil fuels, thereby helping to stabilize overall electricity costs in the long term. Wind energy projects do not require any fuel, such as natural gas or coal, during operation, and we believe that they are typically constructed within a substantially shorter period of time relative to conventional generation resources. In addition, to reduce carbon emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, governments in many countries have adopted renewable energy targets and have financially incentivized investment in wind energy projects.

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