By the end of 2016, over 90 countries had seen commercial wind power activity, and 29 countries – representing every region – had more than 1GW in operation. The offshore industry continued to move farther out and
into deeper waters, and the average size of projects under construction continued to rise. Substructures are evolving to help reduce project costs and logistical challenges.
WIND has become the LEAST-COST option for new power generating capacity in an increasing number of markets.
Companies expanded their scale and reach through some important mergers and acquisitions, and consolidation continued across the value chain. The wind industry also showed growing interest in hybrid installations, particularly with solar PV.
Wind energy technology continued to evolve, driven by mounting global competition; by the need to improve the ease and cost of turbine manufacturing and transportation; by the need to optimize power generation at lower wind speeds; and increasingly by demanding grid codes to deal with rising penetration of variable renewable sources.
The industry refined materials and design, as well as O&M regimes – particularly for blade tips, which undergo much wear and tear. To reduce logistical challenges and costs of transport, and to increase use of local labor, innovations have included two-part blades, nesting towers and portable concrete manufacturing facilities for tower construction.
Source: Renewables 2017 - REN21 (Renewable Energy Police Network for the 21st. Century)