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About Wind Energy / Why Wind Energy

wind power capacity world

You’ve probably noticed that wind is super abundant on our planet (funny video on this topic). Some report that wind in windy locations on or near land can power the world 6 to 15 times over. It is also the least-expensive energy source in many or even most regions now, and this is without taking important health costs of coal and natural gas into account.

In this wind energy guide, you will find a lot more information one wind, broken down into these 6 categories (with each on its own page):

  1. Introduction to Wind (this page)
  2. Installed Wind Power Capacity (organized by country, by GDP, per capita, and more)
  3. Offshore Wind Power Capacity & Projected Growth
  4. Projected Wind Power Growth Worldwide & in Leading Countries
  5. Cost of Wind Power
  6. Why Wind Intermittency is Not a Big Deal

We want this source to be as accurate and up-to-date as possible. You can help make it so by posting better/more current data in the comments below.


Intro to Wind

While we’ve been harvesting energy from wind for several decades, it is only in the last few years — as the world has become more concerned about global climate change — that we’ve increased installation of wind turbines to the point where wind has become a noticeable contributor to our energy mix. In 2010, installed wind capacity reached 197 gigawatts (GW) and produced about 2.5% of the world’s electricity.

Also in 2010, China surpassed the US in the total amount of installed wind capacity to grab the number one ranking. But number one is perhaps not as impressive when one takes into account the population size and GDP of China (as well as the US). More impressive, when one accounts for country size, are: Denmark, which gets 28.1% of its power from wind (compared to China’s 1-2% and the US’ 3-4%). For more along these lines, much more annual and individual country wind installation information can be found on page 2.

World Wind Map

Wind is on the cusp of becoming a major source of electricity around the world. Wind is widely available around the world (see the map above from Global Energy Network Institute, click to enlarge) and its recent rapid growth is expected to continue, since it is already the cheapest or one of the cheapest sources for new electricity all around the world and its costs are projected to keep falling.

Community Etiquette:

We want this and following clean energy guides to be the most up-to-date, the most accurate, and the most comprehensive source of all things ‘new grid’ around. And we want your help making them so. So, please chime in if you’ve got updated or additional information to share. And, of course, please follow these basic community etiquette guidelines:

1) Don’t be rude in discussions with others.
2) If you want to comment, please look to see if someone has already started a thread that would be appropriate for your input. Post your comment there. It will make things much easier for whomever does the rewrite.

More On Wind:

On the following pages, we have sections on:

Upcoming sections will include:

  • Electricity Storage & Transmission
  • Effects of Wind Turbines (on animals, humans, and the environment)
  • More?

 


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