Onshore wind refers to the turbines and wind farms on land. Wind power is measured in gigawatts (GW). 1 GW of power is enough to power around 300,000 homes.
A total of 86.9 gigawatts (GW) of onshore wind power was installed in 2020. This was a 59% increase from the amount installed in 2019.
China and the US were the two leading markets for new onshore additions in 2020. These two markets installed almost 75% of new capacity in 2020.
Even so, global wind power growth needs to triple by 2030 for us to achieve net zero, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).
Onshore installations in 2020 in other parts of the world have reached a record. Specifically, in the Asia Pacific, North America and Latin America. Together, these regions installed 74 GW of new onshore wind capacity. In comparison to the previous year, wind capacity increased by 76%.
Global Onshore Wind Energy Capacity from 2011 to 2020 (in gigawatts)
Source: IRENA, 2021
Source: IRENA, 2021
Onshore Wind Trends
Europe installed a total of 14.7 GW of new wind power capacity in 2020
Norway registered the largest onshore installations in 2020 while Germany saw the worst year for installations since 2010.
Europe will install around 105 GW of new wind energy capacity between 2021-2025 if Governments adopt their promised measures and aim to reach the climate targets. More than 70% of this will be onshore wind.
Onshore wind became one of the cheapest new sources of electricity in 2020.
Over the next five years, the UK is expected to install the most wind capacity in Europe – 18 GW in total.
In addition to the growth of solar energy in Saudi Arabia, the wind market is also one to watch, GWEC suggests. Saudi Arabia is ranked 13th globally for onshore potential.
Onshore wind capacity expansion rebounded in China from 19.0 GW in 2018 to 23.8 GW in 2019 after the government lifted development bans in certain regions.
469 GW of new onshore and offshore installations by 2025
GWEC predicts that over the next five years, 469 GW of new onshore and offshore wind power capacity will be installed globally. This means approximately 95 GW of new installations annually until 2025, based on current timelines.