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Back You are here: Home Renewables Wind Global wind power reaches 282 GW in 2012 – G.W.E.C.

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Global wind power reaches 282 GW in 2012 – G.W.E.C.

The global wind power sector grew by around 19 percent last year, bringing the world’s cumulative generation capacity to 282 gigawatts, according to the latest report from the Global Wind Energy Council.

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According to the G.W.E.C., last year saw around 44.7 GW of new capacity installed globally.

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China and the United States tied as market leaders with about 13 GW of new capacity each.

Germany, India and Britain followed with 2.4 GW, 2.3 GW and 1.9 GW, respectively.

Market consolidation and rationalization in China, and a lapse in policy in India caused slowdown in these wind markets. Nonetheless, G.W.E.C. noted that these conditions are expected to be transient and Asian countries will remain dominant in the global wind market over the coming years.

“While China paused for breath, both the U.S. and European markets had exceptionally strong years,” said Steve Sawyer, G.W.E.C.’s Secretary General.

The growth of the American wind market was seen as coming from many projects rushing to completion in 2012 due to the anticipated expiration of the Production Tax Credit at the end of December.

Over 8,000 megawatts were installed in America during the fourth quarter of 2012 alone.

With the extension of the P.T.C., a slowdown in wind installations in the U.S. this year is anticipated; however, this will be likely be less than what was expected if the P.T.C. had not been extended.

In the European Union, member states from the “emerging markets” contributed strongly to the regions capacity in 2012. These new markets, such as Sweden, Romania, Italy and Poland, joined wind stalwarts Germany and the Britain to help bring the regions new installations for the year to 12.4 GW.

G.W.E.C. noted that the outlook for the E.U. wind market in 2013 is currently uncertain due to the on-going sovereign debt crises, but the region’s framework legislation and 2020 renewable energy targets ensured a “degree of stability.”

Brazil led wind market growth in Latin America last year with 1,077 MW added for an overall installed capacity of approximately 2,500 MW, while Australia led the Pacific region with 358 MW of new capacity for a cumulative sum of 2,584 MW.

There’s miniscule wind power growth seen in the Middle East and North America region, with just a 50 MW project in Tunisia and sub-Saharan Africa’s first large commercial wind farm coming on line in 2012, a 52 MW project in Ethiopia.

“This is just the beginning of the African market,”, said Mr. Sawyer, “With construction started on 500+ MW in South Africa, we expect Africa to be a substantial new market, where clean, competitive energy generated with indigenous sources is a priority for economic development.” – C. Dominguez



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