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World market for wind turbines recovers and sets a new record

News International-French

8 Feb 2012

The world market for wind turbines set a new record in the year 2011 and reached a total size of 42 Gigawatt, after 37,6 Gigawatt in 2010. According to the preliminary data gathered by WWEA and published on the occasion of the 3rd WE20 by 2020 conference in Coimbatore/India, the total capacity worldwide has come close to 239 Gigawatt, enough to cover 3 % of the world's electricity demand. 

World market for wind turbines recovers and sets a new record

Amongst the individual countries, China kept its strong position reached a similar amount like in the previous year 2010: China installed around 18 GW of new wind turbines within 2011, coming to a total capacity of 63 GW, more than one fourth of the global wind capacity. The second largest market for new wind turbines was again the USA with 6,8 GW, followed by India (2,7 GW), Germany (2 GW) and a surprisingly strong Canada with 1,3 GW of new installed capacity. Spain, France and Italy added each around 1 GW. 


A strong increase in wind power utilization can be observed especially in the emerging markets, like China, India, Brazil, and Mexico. This opens new windows for further growth, as these countries do have an increasing need for electricity which can be matched by wind power in a very economic, safe and timely way. On the other hand, several of the European markets showed stagnation or even decrease. The US market presented itself stronger than in 2010, however, the mid-term prospects are not very bright, due to a lack of clarity regarding the political support schemes. In Canada, especially Ontario with its Green Energy Act, adopted as a consequence of the WWEC2008, made sure that the country now finds itself as number five in terms of new capacity. 


WWEA President Dr. He Dexin: "Wind power has become - as a low-cost, low-risk and non-polluting energy option - a pillar of the energy supply in many countries. These countries have been able to create new industries and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Other countries should learn from this experience and also set up the right policies. Especially to enable the poorest countries also to participate in and benefit from wind power utilization, the world community should create special financing tools and funds, such as the Global Green Climate Fund and a global feed-in tariff programme, as suggested by WWEA and the International Renewable Energy Alliance."


WWEA Secretary General Stefan Gsänger: "Although we can observe a recovery of the overall market, the slow-down in some of the industrialized countries, in conjunction with uncertainties about future policies, is a matter of major concern. We call especially on the government of Spain to revise its recent suspension of the support schemes for renewable energy and to continue its leadership role in wind power deployment. Another crucial topic for the future success of wind power is public support. To maximize this, policies should ensure and enable community involvement so that local communities benefit directly from wind farms in their vicinity." 


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