Published on April 11th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan6
Installed Wind Power Capacity per GDP
This is part of a living draft resource page on all things wind — installed capacity, future expectations, wind turbine technologies, etc. If you’re interested in helping out with this project, drop a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We make a big deal of how much total wind power capacity is installed in different countries, but perhaps a better way to look at wind power capacity is compared to GDP. At the least, it is quite an interesting way to look at this. To supplement all the information we shared last week on total installed wind power capacity and wind power growth over the last 15 years, here’s something to chew on.
(Note that geography and wind resources make a huge difference in a country’s wind power potential as well, but as of yet, we are not aware of any standardized way of comparing countries based on their wind resources. Still, if you think about countries like the Netherlands or Japan, which are very small but quite rich, a figure like installed wind power capacity per GDP is maybe not the best way to evaluate their commitment to wind power.)
Installed Wind Power Capacity per GDP (by Country)
Evaluating with the 40 countries with the most installed wind power and using data from the International Monetary Fund via Wikipedia on GDP derived from purchasing power parity calculations from October 2010, below are the top 33 countries for installed wind power capacity per GDP (numbers are in MW/$1 Billion GDP).
What stands out? While countries like Germany and Spain that are leaders in total wind power capacity still stay near the top, some global economic leaders fall quite a bit (i.e. China, the US, India, France, Canada) while a number of smaller countries, especially in Europe, surge to the top (i.e. Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Greece, the Netherlands). I was also impressed by the amount of wind per GDP Costa Rica is tapping.
These figures and more can be viewed in spreadsheet form here.