Japan 18th in new wind turbines in 2010

Japan’s total wind energy generating capacity grew about 10 percent from the previous year against 22.5 percent globally as many countries rushed to develop alternative energy sources to fight climate change and reduce their reliance on oil, the Global Wind Energy Council said.

The global output capacity of wind farm plants increased by 35.8 GW to 194.3 GW last year, said GWEC. Japan trailed emerging economies Brazil and Mexico in new wind turbines installations. Japanese pundits attribute the low ranking to lack of strong government support.

"Many countries set ambitious targets (for wind energy development) and buy electricity generated by wind turbines at fixed prices, whereas Japan’s alternative energy purchase program is limited to surpluses of power generated by users of solar power panels," one Japanese expert said. China overtook the U.S. in new wind turbines installations. The U.S. figure, at 5,115 MW, is less than one-third of China’s.