Global wind energy growth slows for first time in 20 years
* Investment down $600 million to $80.3 billion
* Capacity reached 318 GW in late 2013
* Growth expected to rebound in coming years
LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - Growth in the wind energy market slowed in 2013 for the first time in more than 20 years led by a fall in U.S. projects while investments fell $600 million to $80.3 billion, the annual Global Wind Report said on Wednesday.
New capacity of around 35 gigawatts (GW) came on line, down from more than 45 GW added the previous year.
The world's installed capacity stood at around 318 GW in late 2013.
"The annual global market for wind energy shrank in 2013. We knew that this was likely to be the case... but we didn't expect the drop in the United States to be as dramatic as it was - going from 13 GW in 2012 to just 1 GW in 2013," the report said.
For 2014, it said there could be a record amount of wind power facilities built.
"Partly because of the drop in the U.S. in 2013, 2014 promises to be a record year," the report said. "The U.S. had an all-time high of more than 12,000 megawatt (12 GW) under construction in December of 2013, and... 2014 and 2015 will be solid and productive years for U.S. installations as a result." Continued...