About Wind Energy / Why Wind Energy
Installed Wind Power Capacity
Update: to see 2011 rankings, check out:
- Top Wind Power Countries Relative to Electricity Production
- Top Wind Power Countries Per Capita
- Top Wind Power Countries Per GDP
This section includes:
- Wind power capacity growth worldwide and by country in 2010
- Total installed wind power capacity worldwide and by country (end of year 2010)
- Wind power capacity per GDP (EOY 2010)
- Wind power capacity per capita (EIY 2010)
2010 Installed Capacity & Growth Worldwide
Total installed wind power capacity grew 38.3 GW (40%) in 2010, reaching 197 GW of installed capacity.
I wrote previously that the wind power market actually slightly declined in 2010 compared to 2009 due to a slowdown in the US market that has resulted from a lack of clear federal support for wind power and a “tight project finance market.” The decline is now minute due to added data on China wind power capacity. The wind power market in the US is expected to pick up considerably again this year and total installed capacity is expected to increase significantly again as well. [Update: 2011 was indeed a very strong year for wind power, as was 2012.]
While wind power in the US hit a small bump in 2010, China’s wind power installations increased tremendously during that time. China has now passed up the US as the global leader in total installed wind power capacity.
Wind power capacity has increased dramatically over the years as the wind power market has exploded. And much more is expected in the coming years. Data in the next three sections below come from the Global Wind Energy Council.
Newly Installed Wind Power Capacity Worldwide (in MW)
Clearly, the growth rate for wind power has increased significantly over the years. The past 3-4 years have seen much more newly installed wind power capacity than previous years.
- 2010: 38,265
- 2009: 38,793
- 2008: 26,560
- 2007: 19,866
- 2006: 15,245
- 2005: 11,531
- 2004: 8,207
- 2003: 8,133
- 2002: 7,270
- 2001: 6,500
- 2000: 3,760
- 1999: 3,440
- 1998: 2,520
- 1997: 1,530
- 1996: 1,280
Cumulative Installed Wind Power Capacity Worldwide (in MW)
The trend is quite clear: there has been practically exponential growth in installed wind power capacity in recent years. Even with a “weak” year in wind power growth in 2010, total installed capacity grew considerably.
- 2010: 197,039
- 2009: 158,908
- 2008: 120,291
- 2007: 93,820
- 2006: 74,052
- 2005: 59,091
- 2004: 47,620
- 2003: 39,431
- 2002: 31,100
- 2001: 23,900
- 2000: 17,400
- 1999: 13,600
- 1998: 10,200
- 1997: 7,600
- 1996: 6,100
Top 10 Countries for Cumulative Wind Power and Newly Installed Wind Power Capacity in 2010
As stated above, some of the big news in 2010 was that China installed the most wind power by far, 18,928 MW (49.5% of total new wind power capacity worldwide). Its investment in wind power last year made a clear statement about who is looking to lead the world into the clean energy economy and dominate the global economy in years to come.
Newly installed wind power capacity in China in 2009 was 13 GW, which more than doubled its previous total cumulative installed capacity of 12,104. This accounted for 34.7% of newly installed wind power capacity worldwide and put China at #1 for newly installed capacity.
2010’s growth gave China the most total installed wind power capacity in the world at 44,733 MW (22.7% of world capacity).
The United States installed much less than China but was still second in the world in new installations in 2010, with a total of 5,115 MW installed (13.4% of newly installed capacity worldwide).
In 2009, it had installed 9,922 MW of wind power capacity, accounting for 26.5% of newly installed capacity worldwide.
At the end of 2010, it had 40,180 MW of wind power capacity installed, the second-most in the world.
The Top 5 US states for installed wind power capacity in 2010 were:
1. Texas — 10,085 MW
2. Iowa — 3,675 MW
3. California — 3,177 MW
4. Minnesota — 2,192 MW
5. Washington — 2,105 MW
38 states have utility-scale wind installations and 14 states have over 1,000 MW of wind power capacity installed.
Europe led the world in wind power capacity for awhile (see chart above) and has had steady wind power growth over the past several years. Like the US, its growth dipped a little bit in 2010.
Europe previously had the most installed wind power capacity of any continent but lost that lead to Asia in 2010. 6 of the top 10 countries in total installed wind power capacity and newly installed wind power capacity in 2010 were still European countries.
Germany, with a total of 27,214 MW of wind power, is the clear leader in Europe today. It, however, was second in newly installed wind power in 2010, installing 1,493 MW. It was 3rd and 5th in the world, respectively.
Spain installed the most wind power in Europe in 2010, 1,516 MW, and is second in total cumulative installed wind power capacity at 20,676 MW. It was 4th in the world in both categories at the end of 2012.
6th in total installed wind power capacity (3rd in Europe): 5,797 MW
8th in newly installed wind power capacity (5th in Europe): 948 MW
3rd in total installed wind power capacity (4th in Europe): 4,574
4th in newly installed wind power capacity (3rd in Europe): 1,086 MW
8rd in total installed wind power capacity (5th in Europe): 5,204 MW
7th in newly installed wind power capacity (4th in Europe): 962 MW
Other European Countries
Rounding out Europe for most total installed wind power capacity in 2010 were: 7. Portugal — 3,357 MW (345 MW added in 2010); 8. Netherlands — 2,223 MW (15 MW added in 2010); 9. Sweden — 1,560 MW (603 MW added in 2010, 10th-most in world); 10. Ireland — 1,310 MW (118 MW added in 2010).
Rounding out Europe for most newly installed wind power in 2010 were: 7. Romania –- 437 MW (identified as having high-growth potential by Vestas); 8. Poland –- 382 MW (725 MW total); 9. Belgium 350 MW (563 MW total); 10. Portugal 345 MW (3,357 MW total).
Other than China, the United States, and Europe, there are a couple more countries worth covering. India and Canada are both in the top 10 worldwide for installed wind power capacity.
India is currently the 5th-largest in the world. It has increased from only 220 MW of installed wind power capacity in 2000 to 13,000 MW in 2010. In 2010, it installed 2,139 MW (3rd-most in the world). Like China, it is also looking to increase its wind power capacity tremendously in the coming years. For much more on India wind power, check out the GWEC’s India Wind Energy Outlook 2011.
Canada had the 9th-most cumulative and newly-installed wind power capacity in 2010 (4,009 MW and 690 MW, respectively).
Wind Power Capacity per GDP
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 to compare it to GDP. To supplement all the information above on total installed wind power capacity and wind power growth over the last 15 years, here’s something interesting to chew on:
Installed Wind Power Capacity per GDP (by Country)
Evaluating the 40 countries with the most installed wind power and using data from the International Monetary Fund via Wikipedia regarding GDP, 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 that Costa Rica is tapping.
The figures below (and more) can be viewed in spreadsheet form here.
Wind Power Capacity per Capita
Yes, following up on total installed wind power capacity, wind power growth, and wind power capacity relative to GDP, here’s info on wind power capacity related to population.
Installed Wind Power Capacity per Capita (by Country)
Using country population data from the US Census Bureau, below are the 45 countries with the most installed wind power capacity per capita (numbers are in MW per million people).
Again, what stands out? The same thing as when comparing installed wind power capacity to GDP. While countries like Germany and Spain that are near the top in total wind power capacity still stay near the top, some more populated countries fall quite a bit (i.e. China, the US, India, France) while a number of smaller countries surge to the top (i.e. Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands). Interestingly, Australia rises quite a bit as well.
These figures and more can be viewed in spreadsheet form here.
- Page 1: Intro to Wind Power
- Page 3: Offshore Wind Power
- Page 4: Projected Wind Power Growth
- Page 5: Cost of Wind Power
- Page 6: Why Wind Intermittency is Not a Big Deal