Americas install 11.9GW wind capacity in 2018 - increase by 12%

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

GWEC release

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  • The Americas make up about 25% of the total new global installed capacity in 2018
  • Total installed wind capacity in North, Central, South America is now 135GW
  • Leading countries in the region include: USA, Brazil, and Mexico
  • Colombia prepares to hold first auction and join regional push for wind power
  • The surge for wind in the Americas is expected to continue with GWEC forecasting over 60GW new capacity between 2019 to 2023

Brussels, 05 February:

The latest data released by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) shows North, Central and South America has installed 11.9GW capacity of wind power in 2018, an increase of 12% on last year. In North America (Canada and USA) new capacity additions grew by 10.8% compared to 2017. In Latin America new capacity additions grew by 18.7% compared to 2017.

In North America, the recent and final extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) has driven volume. In Latin America, the commitment to auctions has continued to deliver volume for the region. The Latin America region is expected to continue its growth with a further expansion of the supply chain during 2019.

  • In North America, the wind industry supports over 160,000 jobs (Source: CanWEA and AWEA).
  • Brazil installed 2GW of added capacity during 2018 and auctioned further capacity at world beating prices of as low as $22/MWh.
  • Mexico installed almost 1GW of new capacity, the highest capacity additions ever and now has a total capacity of 5GW. Mexico expects to reach its target of generating 35% of its power capacity through renewables before 2024.

Ben Backwell, CEO of GWEC, said: "The North American wind market is one of the most mature and competitive in the wind industry. Many learnings and experiences from the success here can be used in other markets. The rise of corporate procurement during 2018 demonstrates how corporate sourcing can drive demand and volume in other wind markets.

"The development of the wind market in Latin America is very positive too. Large scale auctions have again taken place in Brazil, and we expect the first auction in Colombia to be executed this month. Further investments in the supply chain by the leading OEMs Vestas and Nordex in Argentina prove the long-term potential of the market."

The North American offshore wind market continues to develop with supply chain planning taking place, tenders for offshore leasing zones being conducted (Massachusetts), JV formations (EDF and Shell for New Jersey leasing zones) and industry players establishing offices (MHI Vestas). GWEC expects projects to commence construction between 2020 and 2025

Karin Ohlenforst, Director of Market Intelligence at GWEC, said: "North, Central and South America will make up about 25% of the total new global capacity in 2018. The capacity growth in South America in particular proves how wind is competitive in auction markets."

The strong growth in wind energy generation is making a key contribution to helping countries meet their international climate agreement commitments whilst satisfying rising energy demand. It forms a crucial part of the solution to reduce emissions, strengthen energy security, lower costs, and boost investment into local economies.

These latest figures released by GWEC form the statistical release of the Global Wind Report. The Global Wind Report is GWEC's flagship publication and the industry's most widely used source of data. The complete report provides a comprehensive snapshot of the global wind industry and an overview of trends such as the growth of offshore wind, corporate sourcing and changing business models. The full report will be released in April.

Notes to editors

  • The full Global Wind Report will be released in April. If you are interested in receiving a copy at launch, please contact