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Published on February 5th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan

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2009 Global Wind Power Report (by Country): Wind Up (Despite Economy) and China & US Up Big

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February 5th, 2010 by Zachary Shahan 

For the 5th year in a row, China has doubled its installed wind power capacity. Wind power capacity in the world grew 31% in 2009.

The Global Wind Energy Council released a report on new global wind power statistics this week and these are some of its main findings.

In total, 37.5 GW of wind power were added in 2009, bringing total worldwide installations up to 157.9 GW. One third of these new installations were in China.

The US, despite projections that wind power would drop due to the recession, continued to see growth and remains on top in total installed capacity (but who knows for how long).

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“The continued rapid growth of wind power despite the financial crisis and economic downturn is testament to the inherent attractiveness of the technology, which is clean, reliable and quick to install. Wind power has become the power technology of choice [for] a growing number of countries around the world,” said Steve Sawyer, GWEC’s Secretary General. “Copenhagen didn’t bring us any closer to a global price on carbon, but wind energy continued to grow due to national energy policy in our main markets and also because many governments in [sic] prioritised renewable energy development in their economic recovery plans.”

The global market for wind turbine installations was worth about $63 billion (€45 billion) in 2009 and employs about half a million people now, GWEC estimates.

Top Countries in 2009

1) US: 35.2 GW of installed capacity (up from 25.2 GW in 2008)

2) Germany: 25.8 GW of installed capacity (up from 23.9 GW in 2008)

3) China: 25.1 GW of installed capacity (up from 12.1 GW in 2008)

4) Spain: 19.1 GW of installed capacity (up from 16.7 GW in 2008)

5) India: 10.9 GW of installed capacity (up from 9.7 GW in 2008)

For a full table, by continent or region and country, of installed wind power capacity in 2008 and in 2009 (and the growth in 2009, so you don’t have to do the calculations), as well as other charts and graphs, click here.

China

As discussed in several recent posts, China is looking to sprint ahead in the new clean energy race that is expected to determine who leads the world economy, even if it is not willing to commit to much internationally — or maybe that is part of its plan.

Here again, we see evidence of China’s commitment to become a (if not the) world leader in clean energy.

“The Chinese government is taking very seriously its responsibility to limit CO2 emissions while providing energy for its growing economy. China is putting strong efforts into developing the country’s tremendous wind resource. Given the current growth rates, it can be expected that the [sic] even the unofficial target of 150 GW will be met well ahead of 2020,” said Li Junfeng, Secretary General of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association.

China looks to nail its target way ahead of schedule. Will the US and others do the same?

The US

The US is still on top with total installed wind capacity. It saw growth in wind power despite the great economic recession. Will that continue?

“Against all expectations, the US wind energy market installed nearly 10 GW in 2009, increasing the country’s installed capacity by 39% and bringing the total installed, grid-connected capacity to 35 GW. In early 2009, some analysts had foreseen a drop in wind power development of as much as 50%, but the implementation of the US Recovery Act with its strong focus on wind energy development in the summer reversed this trend.

“The U.S. wind energy industry shattered all installation records in 2009, chalking up the Recovery Act as a historic success in creating jobs, avoiding carbon, and protecting consumers,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode (emphasis mine). “But U.S. wind turbine manufacturing is down compared to last year’s levels, and needs long-term policy certainty and market pull in order to grow.”

Europe

Europe saw better than expected growth in wind as well. 10.5 GW of wind power capacity were installed in 2009. Spain led with 2.5 GW, then Germany with 1.9 GW, and then Italy, France and the UK all added more than 1 GW as well.

“It is a remarkable result in a difficult year,” said Christian Kjaer, CEO of the European Wind Energy Association. “The figures, once again, confirm that wind power, together with other renewable energy technologies and a shift from coal to gas, are delivering massive European carbon reductions, while creating much needed economic activity and new jobs for Europe’s citizens.”

As in the US recently as well, wind was the fastest growing source of clean energy (or energy at all) in Europe in 2009. 39% of new power capacity was from wind in 2009, compared to 26% from gas and 16% from solar photovoltaics. Coal and nuclear capacity were decommissioned more than they were installed.

Wind is Up, CO2 Down

“Wind energy is already making a significant contribution to saving CO2 emissions. The 158GW of global wind capacity in place at the end of 2009 will produce 340 TWh of clean electricity and save 204 million tons of CO2 every year,” concluded Steve Sawyer. “As we see in Europe and the US, wind power is now often the most attractive option for new power generation, both in economic and environmental terms, and for improved supply security.”

Wind is on the rise. What will we see in 2010? If it’s anything like last year, current projections are unlikely to tell us.

Related Stories:

1) Wind Turbines based on Jet Engines 3-4 Times More Efficient & Coming to Market? [VIDEO]

2) Wow, China IS Serious About Clean Energy!

3) New Intelligent Wind Turbines “See” the Wind

Image Credit: Evan McKern via flickr under a CC license

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • Christian Seno

    Anyone knows where to find the whole report?

  • Stan Lippmann

    3) China: 25.1 GW of installed capacity (up from 12.1 GW in 2008, 34.7% increase)

    Left over agit-prop from the Rockefeller Trust. Don’t you guys read your own headlines.

    Your goose is cooked. If they double for another 7 years, China will be 100% windpowered. But probably already this year, since the writing which has been on the wall for a decade, which Wall St. tried to stop with the crisis, which they failed to stop even after lying that they had until now, no question but the only thing wrong with this world is the corrupt Congressmen on Wall St.’s payroll. Jim Kramer should be committed.

  • Brian N

    Note that everyone of those GW installed capacity #s is the boiler plate value and assumes 100% of their generated electricity is used by the grid.

    Without massive storage, the grids the world over actually consume just 30-35% of the turbines generated power which is when it matches loads.

    This is called capacity factor and is never stated.

    All power generators have a capacity factor # but renewables look low because of the lack of storage to regulate intermittentcy.

    The U.S. wind energy association does however state that 62 million tons of CO2 is offset by their total wind production. Thats 7,077 tons per hr. Using the ave fig of 1.35 lbs of CO2/kWh you get 10.5GW ave power.

    (ref eia doe gov CO2 Enmissions Report)

    This also reconciles with published U.S. wind contribution of 2-2.5% to the 440GW ave supply.

  • Brian N

    Note that everyone of those GW installed capacity #s is the boiler plate value and assumes 100% of their generated electricity is used by the grid.

    Without massive storage, the grids the world over actually consume just 30-35% of the turbines generated power which is when it matches loads.

    This is called capacity factor and is never stated.

    All power generators have a capacity factor # but renewables look low because of the lack of storage to regulate intermittentcy.

    The U.S. wind energy association does however state that 62 million tons of CO2 is offset by their total wind production. Thats 7,077 tons per hr. Using the ave fig of 1.35 lbs of CO2/kWh you get 10.5GW ave power.

    (ref eia doe gov CO2 Enmissions Report)

    This also reconciles with published U.S. wind contribution of 2-2.5% to the 440GW ave supply.

  • http://firsthomebuyersgrant.blogsavy.com/ Aaron

    Couldn’t agree more, great post.

  • http://firsthomebuyersgrant.blogsavy.com/ Aaron

    Couldn’t agree more, great post.

  • Stan Lippmann

    3) China: 25.1 GW of installed capacity (up from 12.1 GW in 2008, 34.7% increase)

    Left over agit-prop from the Rockefeller Trust. Don’t you guys read your own headlines.

    Your goose is cooked. If they double for another 7 years, China will be 100% windpowered. But probably already this year, since the writing which has been on the wall for a decade, which Wall St. tried to stop with the crisis, which they failed to stop even after lying that they had until now, no question but the only thing wrong with this world is the corrupt Congressmen on Wall St.’s payroll. Jim Kramer should be committed.

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