The Wind Power Boom of 2009, By the Numbers


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Despite the global recession, 2009 turned out to be a rather stellar year for wind power. Total installed wind power capacity across the globe grew an impressive 31%, as the world added 37.5 Gigawatts to bring the total to 158 GW. The mega-wattage produced by wind power leaped forward in just about every major economy in the world last year, from the US to Europe to China to India (Japan was notably absent from the list). After the jump, see the top 5 wind powered nations of 2009. Clean Technica has a detailed breakdown of the numbers, and a report that's well worth reading. But here are the highlights--all stats come from the new report by the Global Wind Energy Council.

-"The global market for wind turbine installations was worth about $63 billion (€45 billion) in 2009 and employs about half a million people now, GWEC estimates."

-One third of all worldwide wind power capacity was installed in China last year.

-China has doubled its wind power capacity for 5 years in a row now.

-"The 158GW of global wind capacity in place at the end of 2009 will produce 340 TWh of clean electricity and save 204 million tons of CO2 every year," according to CT.

Top Countries in 2009

Via Cleantechnica:
  1. US: 35.2 GW of installed capacity (up from 25.2 GW in 2008, 26.5% increase)
  2. Germany: 25.8 GW of installed capacity (up from 23.9 GW in 2008, 5.1% increase)
  3. China: 25.1 GW of installed capacity (up from 12.1 GW in 2008, 34.7% increase)
  4. Spain: 19.1 GW of installed capacity (up from 16.7 GW in 2008, 6.6% increase)
  5. India: 10.9 GW of installed capacity (up from 9.7 GW in 2008, 3.4% increase)

So while the United States is still the leader in pure wattage, China is on track to leapfrog us--as soon as next year. Which is why we need to put a price on carbon to spur the shift towards cleantech, or at the very very very least, enact a strong renewable energy standard. Preferably both.

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