Wind power covering significant percentage of electricity demand: IEA

New figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA) show that wind energy is covering an impressive slice of the national electricity demand in countries around the world.

No stranger to being top of the wind farm league, in 2009 Denmark still showed the way with wind turbines covering 19.3% of the national electricity demand. Coming in a surprise second on the IEA list is Portugal – last year wind covered 15% of the country’s electricity demand.

Portugal’s Iberian neighbour, Spain, falls third with 14.4% of the electricity demand met by wind power. Fourth and fifth position were awarded to Ireland and Germany with 10.5% and 6.5% respectively.

The figures, contained in the IEA’s 2009 Annual Report, show that in 2009 worldwide wind power capacity increased by 32%, and electrical output from wind was “enough to cover the electricity consumption of Australia and Ireland combined.”

In terms of increases in capacity last year, the US, Italy, the UK, Canada, Portugal, Australia, Sweden, and Korea all increased their wind power capacity by more than 30%. Mexico, however, topped all of the above countries with a stunning 387% increase in capacity in 2009.

Promisingly, the IEA predicts more growth next year: “Wind power is firmly established as a viable option for increasing green electricity production, and continued increases in capacity are expected in 2010,” the IEA said in its report.

By Zoë Casey,