North, Latin America add close to 22 GW of wind in 2020 - GWEC

Wind turbines. Source: Innogy SE (www.innogy.com)

March 12 (Renewables Now) - Wind power capacity additions in North and Latin America peaked at nearly 22 GW in 2020, with the region’s cumulative reaching 170 GW, according to a new report by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

Installations surged by 62% year-on-year, regardless of the impacts of the global pandemic. The bulk of the new capacity was brought online in the US, where close to 17 GW of wind farms became operational last year, accounting for a 85% jump on a yearly basis. The major growth driver in this market was the phase-out of the 100% Production Tax Credit (PTC) at end-2020 for projects that entered construction in 2016.

“Although we were expecting an installation rush in the US in 2020, this growth is truly impressive considering the impacts of COVID-19 on the country’s supply chain and economy,” said Feng Zhao, head of market intelligence and strategy at GWEC.

GWEC's ranking for the Americas and Caribbean can be seen in the table below.

Country New installs in 2020
US 16,925 MW
Brazil 2,297 MW
Argentina 1,014 MW
Chile 684 MW
Mexico 574 MW
Canada 165 MW
Panama 66 MW
Peru 38 MW

In Latin America, Brazil kept the crown after commissioning 2.3 GW of fresh capacity in 2020. The year was a record one both for Argentina, where 1 GW of new wind farms were commissioned, and Chile with its 684 MW of new capacity in operation. Development in Mexico, meanwhile, slowed pace due to “political challenges.”

Although the Latin American wind market has grown considerably in the past decade, it still faces big challenges among which is keeping the consistent growth in established markets such as Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Chile, noted Ramon Diestas, chair of GWEC’s Latin America Task Force.

At end-2020, the cumulative installed wind turbine capacity in North And Latin America amounted to 136 GW and 34 GW, respectively.

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