Wind Power Growth Still Surging Where Strongly Supported

Wind Power Growth Still Surging Where Strongly Supported

Double-digit growth continued in the global wind market in 2013 as 35 gigawatts (GW) of additional capacity were added during the year, bringing the worldwide total to 318 GW—a 12.5 percent increase over 2012.1 (See Figure 1). This was a significant drop from the average 21 percent annual growth rate over the last 10 years, however.2 Overall investment declined slightly, from $80.9 billion in 2012 to $80.3 billion in 2013.3

Wind Power Figure 1

Among the world’s regions, the European Union is in the lead. Its 37 percent share of global installed capacity edges out Asia’s 36 percent.4 In fact, 16 European countries now have more than 1 GW of total installed wind capacity, compared with 4 in the Asia-Pacific region.5 (See Figure 2). Once again, China installed more new capacity than any other country, with Germany, the United Kingdom, India, and Canada rounding out the top five countries in terms of added capacity in 2013.6 (See Figure 3.)

In 2013, China installed 16.1 GW of new wind power capacity, 24 percent more than it added the previous year.7 By the end of 2013, total installed wind capacity there measured 91.4 GW, equivalent to 6 percent of the country’s total electricity generating capacity.8 The percentage of wind-generated electricity in China continued to rise in 2013, which shows that problems connecting wind farms to the grid are being resolved. (In 2011 alone, more than 10 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of wind power were lost because the grid lacked capacity to absorb it.)9 In 2012, wind-generated electricity in China amounted to 100.4 billion kWh, or 2 percent of the country’s total electricity output.10 In 2013, those numbers rose to 134.9 billion kWh and 2.6 percent.11

Jobs in Renewable Energy Expand in Turbulent Process

Jobs in Renewable Energy Expand in Turbulent Process

Michael Renner | Jun 30, 2014

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), there may now be as many as 6.5 million direct and indirect jobs in renewable energy.This figure is an update of IRENA’s previous estimate of 5.7 million such jobs, which was published in December 2013.2 Earlier assessments by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2008 and by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2012 had put the global estimate at 2.3 million and 5 million, respectively.3 (See Figure 1.)

Although these estimates suggest a strong employment expansion, the figures are not strictly year-by-year comparisons but rather successive efforts to broaden the coverage of countries and to improve and refine data. Although they are based on an extensive data collection, data gaps remain and the underlying studies used in compiling the global estimates are inevitably of uneven detail and quality.4

The overall upward trend has been accompanied by considerable turmoil in some renewable energy industries—a reflection of fluctuations in costs, prices, and investments; increasing labor productivity; regional shifts; and waves of industry consolidation and realignment.5 Austerity measures in the wake of the world economic crisis have also played a critical role.6 Furthermore, uncertainties or frequent changes in government policies do not favor job creation.7

Auto Production Sets New Record, Fleet Surpasses 1 Billion Mark

Auto Production Sets New Record, Fleet Surpasses 1 Billion Mark

Michael Renner | Jun 04, 2014

Global production of automobiles keeps rising to new heights. London-based IHS Automotive puts passenger-car production in 2013 at 69.6 million, up from 66.7 million in 2012, and projects a figure of 71.7 million for 2014.1(See Figure 1.) Adding light trucks (which in some countries, such as the United States, are used for passenger transportation), total light vehicle production rose from 81.5 million in 2012 to 84.7 million in 2013 and is projected to reach 86.8 million in 2014.2

Auto Production Figure 1

IHS Automotive lists 51 countries as manufacturers of light vehicles.3 But the leading five producers accounted for 60 percent of all light vehicles worldwide.(See Figure 2.) China produced a stunning 20.9 million vehicles in 2013, up from 18.2 million in 2012.5 The United States (10.9 million), Japan (9 million), Germany (5.6 million), and South Korea (4.5 million) follow at a considerable distance.6 India (3.7 million), Brazil (3.5 million), Mexico (2.9 million), Thailand, and Canada (2.4 million each) complete the top 10 and contribute another 18 percent of the global total.7 Seven other countries—Spain, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Indonesia—produced at least 1 million vehicles each.8

Auto Production Figure 2

The world’s fleet of light-duty vehicles now surpasses 1 billion, having grown from 980.7 million in 2012 to 1,017 million in 2013—one light-duty vehicle per seven people.9 Of that total, the passenger car fleet accounted for 739.8 million vehicles in 2013, up from 713.2 million in 2012.10



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