Wind turbines provide more than 3 % of global electricity demand

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According to the World Wind Energy Report 2012, currently launched by the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA), the worldwide wind power capacity reached 282 GW. All wind turbines installed by the end of 2012 worldwide can provide 580 TWh/a, more than 3 % of the global electricity demand.

In 2012, 44 GW of wind power capacity were added worldwide, more than ever before. Nevertheless, that means that wind power showed a growth rate of “only” 19.2 %, which is the lowest rate in more than a decade. The total turnover of the wind sector in 2012 was € 60 billion.

Asia accounted for the largest share of new installations (36.3 %), followed by North America (31.3 %) and Europe (27.5 %). Latin America stood for 3.9 % and Australia/Oceania for 0.8 %. Africa (0.2 %) is still a tiny wind market. Latin America and Eastern Europe continue to be the most dynamic world regions while Africa showed stagnation, with only Tunisia and Ethiopia installing new wind farms.

Altogether, 100 countries and regions used wind power for electricity generation, with Iceland becoming the 100th country that is using wind power. China and the USA both installed around 13 GW of new wind turbines in 2012. The USA added most of it in the second half of the year in a rush to avoid the PTC expiration (Production Tax Credit). For China the 13 GW were enough to be by far the largest Asian market once more. However, the newly installed capacity is significantly less than in the previous year. India was again the third largest market for new wind turbines worldwide, adding 2.4 GW.

The same capacity came from Germany, also adding 2.4 GW in 2012. Germany continued its role as the largest and most stable market in Europe with 31.0 GW total capacity installed, followed by Spain with 22.8 GW. But the UK is on the fast lane. It took over the position as second largest European market for new turbines (1.9 GW newly installed) from Spain (1.1 GW) which installed even less than Italy (1.3 GW). Beside these established markets Poland, Romania and Sweden became major markets for new turbines.

The WWEA expects a global capacity of more than 500 GW by the year 2016. Around 1,000 GW are said to be possible by the year 2020.

Katharina Garus

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