Emerging wind farm markets are taking the lead as wind energy powers ahead

Global wind power market rose to 41 gigawatts in 2011, led by China. The global wind farm market rose 6 per cent to 41 GW last year, led by China, the Global Wind Energy Council said. China installed 18 GW of wind turbines in 2011, followed by the US with 6.8 GW and India’s 3 GW.

Germany, the UK, Canada and Spain followed, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. Brazilian installations rose by half last year, increasing the country’s total to more than 1,500 megawatts, GWEC said. Canada had a record year, with 1,267 megawatts of wind turbines erected. Honduras and the Dominican Republic put up their first wind farms while in the African island-nation of Cape Verde, the installed base rose 12-fold to 24 megawatts.

The global wind power industry installed over 41 GW of wind energy in 2011, bringing the total global installed wind farm capacity to more than 238 GW at the end of last year.

The global wind power industry installed over 41 GW of wind energy in 2011, bringing the total global installed wind farm capacity to more than 238 GW at the end of last year, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) announced in its latest report. This represents an increase of 21%, with growth in the size of the annual global market of just over 6%.

About 90 countries worldwide now have commercial wind turbines installations, and 22 of them have already passed the 1 GW mark.

Despite having faced a challenging year, China has consolidated its position as the global wind power market leader, installing 18 GW in 2011 for a cumulative capacity of more than 62 GW. India was also a leader, installing over 3 GW of wind power in 2011 to push the nation’s total capacity to just over 16 GW – a number that is likely to go up to 5 GW per year by 2015, according to D.V. Giri, chairman of the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association.

After a difficult 2010, the U.S. wind farm sector bounced back, with installations of more than 6.8 GW. “Our 2011 installations alone provide enough electricity to power almost 2 million American homes,” notes Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association.

Wind power in Canada enjoyed a record year in 2011, surpassing the 5 GW milestone. Canada – and, in particular, Ontario – is emerging as a very competitive destination for wind energy investment globally. However, maintaining that position will require continued commitments to aggressive targets for wind energy development and a stable policy framework, the GWEC says.

Latin America had a solid year, growing by more than 1.2 GW, led by Brazil. Brazilian installations were up by 50%, adding 587 MW to reach a total of just over 1.5 GW.

In the European Union (EU), 9.616 GW of wind energy capacity was installed in 2011, for a total installed capacity of 93.957 GW. However, future growth will depend on favorable policy.

“To achieve the EU’s long-term targets, we need strong growth again in future years,” notes Justin Wilkes, the European Wind Energy Association’s policy director. “A commitment from the European Union to put in place a binding renewable energy target for 2030 would send a very positive signal to potential investors.”

Wind power in MW

Country – 2011

China 62733
USA 46919
Germany 29060
Spain 21674
India 16084
France 6800
Italy 6747
United Kingdom 6540
Canada 5265
Portugal 4083
Denmark 3871
Sweden 2907
Japan 2501
Netherlands 2328
Australia 2224
Turkey 1799
Ireland 1631
Greece 1629
Poland 1616
Brazil 1509
Austria 1084
Belgium 1078
Romania 982
Mexico 873
New Zealand 622
Bulgaria 612
Taiwan 564
Egypt 550
Norway 520
South Korea 407
Hungary 329
Morocco 291
Czec Republic 217
Chile 205
Finland 197
Estonia 184
Lithuania 179
Ukraine 151
Cyprus 134
Costa Rica 132
Croatia 131
Argentina 130
Honduras 102
Iran 91
Armenia 90
Nicaragua 60
Switzerland 46
Luxembourg 44
Dominican Republic 33
Philippines 33
Latvia 31
Jamaica 30
Vietnam 30
Cape Verde 24
South Africa 22
Uruguay 21
Colombia 20
Libya 20
Tunisia 20
Russia 17
Guyana 14
Sri Lanka 14
Fiji 10
Cuba 7
Israel 6
Pakistan 6
Azerbaijan 5
Kenya 5
Ecuador 4
Faroe Islands 4
Slovakia 3
Vanuatu 3
Bangladesh 2
Belarus 2
Jordan 2
Mongolia 2
Nigeria 2
Saint Kitts and Nevis 2
Eritrea 1
Grenada 1
Indonesia 1
Mauritius 1
Namibia 1
Peru 1
Other 26

Total 238,351 MW