Wind Power Blew Past 150,000 Megawatts in 09


The global wind energy industry set new records last year as cumulative installed wind power capacity grew to 158,000 megawatts. 
According to the Earth Policy Institute, the 31 percent jump saw wind power now being able to supply the residential electricity needs of 250 million people. 
70 countries now generate wind power and 17 now have at least 1,000 megawatts installed.
China continues to be the world leader with 13,000 megawatts of new wind capacity in 2009. Its efforts last year also saw it being the first country to build out more than 10,000 megawatts capacity in a year. China looks set to maintain its front-runner position, with seven huge wind farms under construction boasting a combined output of 130,000 megawatts – more than the entire world’s capacity at the end of 2008.
The USA bypassed Germany a couple of years ago and increased its lead last year to reach a cumulative 35,000 megawatts; with Texas remaining the most productive state.
In the European Union (EU), Spain added the most new wind power capacity in 2009, with 26,000 total megawatts now installed, but Germany remains the EU’s leader. Italy, France, and the United Kingdom all crossed the 4,000 megawatt mark in 2009. 
India installed 1,300 megawatts in 2009 and Canada added 950 megawatts of wind capacity, coming just short of entering the top 10 list for total capacity.
Latin America and Africa, both with major wind resources but limited development to date, look set to see increased activity in the years ahead.
Australia wasn’t mentioned in the Earth Policy Institute report, but also appears to have made solid gains; growing from 1125 megawatts installed capacity in April 2008 to 1877 megawatts in 2009.
The Earth Policy Institute says that wind power has increased ninefold in total capacity since the 2000 and quotes a Harvard University that concluded the top 10 carbon dioxide-emitting countries could satisfy all of their electricity needs using wind alone.