Wind Breezes up by 28% with US and China in the lead

04 March 2009

Photo: EWEA/Winter

The United States passed Germany to become world leader in wind power installations, and China's total capacity doubled for the fourth year in a row. Total worldwide installations in 2008 were more than 27,000 MW, dominated by the three main markets in Europe, North America and Asia.

Global wind energy capacity grew by 28.8% last year, even higher than the average over the past decade, to reach total global installations of more than 120.8 GW at the end of 2008. Over 27 GW of new wind power generation capacity came online in 2008, 36% more than in 2007.

Statistics released by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) today show that 43% of all new electricity generating capacity built in the European Union last year was wind energy, exceeding all other technologies including gas, coal and nuclear power.

Photo: Vestas

“These figures speak for themselves: there is huge and growing global demand for emissions-free wind power, which can be installed quickly, virtually everywhere in the world. Wind energy is the only power generation technology that can deliver the necessary cuts in CO2 in the critical period up to 2020, when greenhouse cases must peak and begin to decline to avoid dangerous climate change,”said Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of GWEC. “The 120 GW of global wind capacity in place at the end of 2008 will produce 260 TWh and save 158 million tons of CO2 every year.”

Wind energy is now an important player in the world's energy markets. The global wind market for turbine installations in 2008 was worth about 36.5bn EUR or 47.5bn US$.

“Wind power is often the most attractive option for new power generation in both economic terms and in terms of increasing energy security, not to mention the environmental and economic development benefits. Volatile fossil fuel prices and unreliable supply policies from fossil fuel rich countries increase the risk of relying on conventional sources for power production,” said GWEC's Chairman, Prof. Arthouros Zervos. “The wind industry also creates many new jobs: over 400,000 people are now employed in this industry, and that number will be in the millions in the near future.”

The leading markets in terms of new installed capacity in 2008 were the US and China. New US wind energy installations totalled 8,358 MW for a total installed capacity of 25,170 MW the US has now officially overtaken Germany (23,902 MW) as number one in wind power. Europe and North America are running neck-to-neck, with about 8.9 GW each of new installed capacity in 2008, with Asia closely following with 8.6 GW. “Wind power is often the most attractive option for new power generation in both economic terms and in terms of increasing energy security, not to mention the environmental and economic development benefits. Volatile fossil fuel prices and unreliable supply policies from fossil fuel rich countries increase the risk of relying on conventional sources for power production,” said GWEC's Chairman, Prof. Arthouros Zervos. “The wind industry also creates many new jobs: over 400,000 people are now employed in this industry, and that number will be in the millions in the near future.”

The leading markets in terms of new installed capacity in 2008 were the US and China. New US wind energy installations totalled 8,358 MW for a total installed capacity of 25,170 MW the US has now officially overtaken Germany (23,902 MW) as number one in wind power. Europe and North America are running neck-to-neck, with about 8.9 GW each of new installed capacity in 2008, with Asia closely following with 8.6 GW. The UK is lagging behind with 836 MW or a 3% increase in new installed capacity.

www.gwec.net

www.ewea.org/

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