Global Wind Energy Installation in 2021 at a Glance and Market Outlook up to 2026

Global Wind Energy Installation in 2021 at a Glance and Market Outlook up to 2026


Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 was a fantastic year for renewable energy installations. There was a 9.1% increase in renewable energy addition in that year over 2020. The biggest slice was grabbed by solar energy with 133 GW [1], followed by around 93.6 GW of wind energy [2] and 19 GW of hydropower. According to a recent report released by IRENA, the cumulative renewable energy capacity has reached 3TW [3]. It is worth mentioning that the majority of global cumulative renewable energy capacity has come from hydropower with 1360 GW and it is followed by solar power with 849 GW and wind power with 837 GW. It is expected that solar power will surpass hydropower in the forthcoming years.

Wind energy as the closest rival of solar power has enjoyed its second-best year ever, with growth in 2021 only 1.8% behind its 2020’s record [3]. It is important to note that 2020 was the brilliant year among others for the wind industry since over 110 GW of new capacity were installed during that year. This article aims to outline a brief and clear picture of the Global wind energy market out of raw data from different sources and shed light on the next five years of it.

Global Wind Energy Installation

The share of onshore wind installation was 72.5 GW or 77.5% and the rest of it belonged to offshore wind. Although the onshore wind has the leading role in the wind energy market, offshore wind has had a skyrocketing increase compared to its land-based rival. Compared to 2020, offshore wind capacity increased by more than 3 times in 2021, from 6.9 GW to 21.1 GW. Slowdowns in China and the U.S., two of the largest wind markets, have resulted in lower onshore wind market enhancements [2]. 

As a result of the new offshore wind installations in 2021, the world’s offshore wind capacity increased to 57GW, which represents 7% of the global wind capacity. For the fourth consecutive year, China contributed 80% of the offshore growth.

Onshore Wind Installation

Auctions are public sales at which goods and properties are sold to the highest bidder. A global desire to continue wind power growth has been demonstrated by auction activities in 2021. Globally, 88 GW of wind energy capacity was auctioned in 2020. Onshore wind accounts for 69 GW (78%) of that total. According to the top three regions out of five, including Asia Pacific, Europe and North America, onshore wind energy is the mainstream and dominant market.

For the next five years under current policies, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) Market

Intelligence is estimated that 557 GW of new capacity will be added in the next five years – that equates to more than 110 GW of new installations each year until 2026 [2].

Offshore Wind Installation

There were 19 GW of offshore auctioned capacity in 2021 out of 88 GW. Under current policies, the global offshore market is projected to grow from 21.1 GW in 2021 to 31.4 GW in 2026, increasing its share of global new installations from 22.5% to 24.4% [2]. From 2022 to 2026, more than 90 GW of offshore wind capacity will be added worldwide. 

Top 5 Countries in Offshore Wind Installation

China, the UK, Vietnam, Denmark, and the Netherlands are the top 5 offshore wind markets. Vietnam, as a new emerging offshore wind market, commissioned 779 MW of nearshore wind capacity in 2021, making it the third largest market for offshore wind installations.

The perspective of Wind energy until 2026

The world’s top five wind power markets in 2021 based on adding capacity were China, the U.S, Brazil, Vietnam, and the UK [2]. These five wind energy markets generally made up 75.1% of Global wind installations last year, collectively 5.5% lower than in 2020, primarily due to China and the U.S losing a combined 10% market share compared to 2020.

At current rates of installation, GWEC Market Intelligence has forecasted that by 2030 we will have less than two-thirds of the wind energy capacity required for a 1.5°C and net-zero pathway, effectively condemning us to miss our climate goals [2].

Did You Know?

WindEdition offers a detailed map for offshore wind energy generators projects around the world 

Including the correct coordinance, project name, capacity, and… you can checkout our Offshore Wind Map here.

Author: Hesam-Edin Hayati Soloot


[1] IRENA, “Renewable Capacity Statistics 2022”, April 2022.

[2] Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), “Global Wind Report 2022”.

[3] TaiyangNews, “Global RE Generation Capacity Exceeded 3 TW In 2021 With Solar Accounting For 849 GW”.