Wind power around the world in 2011

Installed wind power capacity continued to grow around the world last year despite the ongoing financial uncertainty with Europe remaining the number one regional leader, according to Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC) annual statistics.

Europe’s installed wind turbines capacity increased by 10,281 MW to 96,616 MW by the end of 2011, the GWEC statistics show. In the EU, the new total was 93,957 MW.

Asia was the second place regional leader with 21,298 additional MW of installed farm wind capacity, bringing its cumulative total to 82,398 MW. North America was in third place with an additional 8,077 MW last year increasing its total capacity to 52,184 MW.

“Despite the state of the global economy, wind power continues to be the renewable generation technology of choice. 2011 was a tough year, as will be 2012, but the long term fundamentals of the industry remain very sound,” said Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General.

In terms of national leaders, the GWEC statistics show that China had the most cumulative installed wind power capacity — 62,733 MW — at the end of 2011, followed by the United States with 46,919 MW.

Germany was in third place with 29,060 MW followed by Spain with 21,674 MW. Regionally, Latin America and the Caribbean had 3,203 MW, the Pacifi c Region had 2,858 MW and Africa and the Middle East had 1,093 MW.

In all, the world total of installed wind capacity increased by 41,000 MW — or 21% — to 238,351 MW by the end of last year.