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

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.

Brazil installed 2 GW of added capacity during 2018 and auctioned further capacity at world beating prices of as low as $22/MWh.

Mexico installed almost 1 GW of new capacity, the highest capacity addition ever, and now has a total capacity of 5 GW. Mexico expects to reach its target of generating 35% of its power capacity through renewables before 2024.

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.”

These latest figures released by GWEC form the statistical release of its Global Wind Report, one of GWEC’s flagship publications, and the industry’s most widely used source of data. The full report will be released in April.