Wind Power Blowing Strong Again

The global market for wind power has regained its momentum this year after experiencing a bit of a slowdown in 2010. So says the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) in its newly released half-year report [PDF] for 2011.

Worldwide wind capacity reached 215,000 megawatts (MW) by the end of June 2011. The first six months of 2011 added 18,405 MW of wind power capacity. This increase represents 15 percent more than in the first half of 2010, when only 16,000 MW were added. Global wind capacity grew by 9.3 percent within six months and by 22.9 percent on an annual basis.

world wind power data

image via Shutterstock

According to the report, five countries – China, the United StatesGermanySpain and India – continue to do the market and the demand for wind power. Together, those countries comprise 74 percent of the global world capacity. China continues to dominate the world market for wind power. In the first half of 2011, it added 8 GW of capacity while the United States added 2.3 GW.

windpower top10

image via WWEA

Looking forward, the WWEA expects continued strong growth with new markets emerging in Venezuela, Honduras and Ethiopia. Additionally, the report spotlighted robust growth in Romania (10 percent, with 59 MW added), Poland with (22 percent, with 245 MW added), Croatia (28 percent, with 20 MW ) and Estonia (32 percent, with 48 MW). In the second half of 2011, an additional capacity of 25,500 MW is expected to be erected worldwide, which would bring new annual installations to 43,900 MW, compared with 37,642 MW in 2010. Total installed wind capacity is projected to reach 240,500 MW by the end of this year. This capacity can cover almost 3 percent of the electricity demand all over the world.

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.

    • S Brown

      8 MW in China and 2.3 MW in the US? Try GW.

      • Thanks for catching that – we corrected the error.