New wind energy capacity installed worldwide in 2010 was 35.8 GW (2009: 38.6 GW), a 22.5% increase from 2009, according to the figures presented by the GWEC (Global Wind Energy Council).

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Wind energy capacity in the world grew by 35.8 GW (22.5%) in 2010

In 2010, China remained the main driver of global growth adding 16.5 GW, nearly half of total new wind facilities. this has taken China’s total capacity up to 42.3 GW, thereby overtaking uS for the first time and becoming the largest wind energy producer overall.

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Europe continues to host the largest wind energy capacity: 84.1 GW according to the EWEA (European Wind Energy Association), with additions decreasing as compared to 2009, despite the important growth in offshore wind and the encouraging figures of emerging eastern european countries. at the end of 2010, Spain and Germany remained the two largest markets, followed by Italy, France and UK. today, 13 european countries already have surpassed the mark of 1 GW of wind capacity installed.

The US has witnessed a drop in annual installations, with only 5 GW of new wind facilities, according to the AWEA (American Wind Energy Association). this was mainly the result of the economic recession and the uncertainty about the energy policy, as all major Federal support policies for wind energy are expiring by the end of 2012 and there is no long-term federal renewable energy policy. Canada, installed 0.7 GW in 2010, nearly one third less than in 2009.

The latin american market seems firmly poised to catch the opportunity of utilizing its large wind power potential. With additions surpassing 0.3 GW, Brazil and Mexico lead the way

In conclusion, 2010 was an extremely challenging year due to regulatory uncertainty and weaker power demand in the US and in some european countries. nevertheless, the continued growth of wind power in the face of global recession proves the attractiveness and increasing competitiveness of the industry.

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In 2010, new wind installations in europe amounted to 9.3 GW, 10% below the figure in 2009. anyhow, 2009 was the second best year ever in new wind installations. Despite the global economic recession, 2010 was a record-breaking year for offshore wind energy, with 0.9 GW of new installed capacity (9.5% of total new wind facilities).

Wind power accounted for 17% of total power installations in 2010, ranking third after gas (51%) and solar photovoltaic facilities (22%).

At the end of 2010, wind power capacity installed in the EU-27 countries amounted to 84 GW.

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Germany remains the country with the largest wind installed capacity (27.2 GW) followed by Spain (20,7 GW), Italy (5,8 GW), France (5,7 GW) and UK (5,2 GW).

For the second year in a row, Spain was the country that installed the most wind energy capacity in europe (1.5 GW). Germany and France have also surpassed the mark of 1 GW (1.5 GW and 1.1 GW respectively). other countries that have displayed strong additions have been the uK (1.0 GW), Italy (0.9 GW) and Sweden (0.6 GW). emerging markets in South east europe grew by a rapid pace, particularly in romania (0.4 GW), poland (0.4 GW) and Bulgaria (0.2 GW), partially offsetting the flagging growth in mature markets. portugal added 0.3 GW reaching a total installed capacity of 3.7 GW.


New wind power installations in the uS slowed in 2010, with the AWEA (American Wind Energy Association) reporting about 5.1 GW, bringing the total installed capacity to 40.2 GW. new installations in 2010 have practically halved comparing to 2009. thus, total installed capacity grew by 15%, in comparison to 39% in 2009. the main reasons for this reduced growth pace have been the lack of long-term federal policies, the drop in power demand and the low level of gas prices.

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Texas, by far the leading wind power state, added 0.7 GW in 2010. Fueled by the renewable electricity standard dating of 1999 and strengthened in 2005, texas surpassed the mark of 10 GW of wind installed capacity, representing one quarter of the total US installed capacity.

The other leading states are Iowa (3.7 GW), California (3.2 GW), Minnesota (2.2 GW) and Washington (2.1 GW), all having renewable energy targets. according to the AWEA, 38 states have utility-scale wind projects and 14 have more than 1 GW of wind installed capacity.

Wind represented 26% of new power capacity added in 2010, with natural gas at 39% and coal at 34% of new additions. Wind power is now 3% of the total capacity mix, natural gas 41% and coal 30%.

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Offshore wind in the US is demonstrating some growth potential, with a large number of planned offshore wind projects in the pipeline. Cape Wind, the nation’s first major offshore wind project, received both permitting and (partial) PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) approval. New Jersey also recently signed the new Offshore Wind Economic Development act to develop a program of offshore renewable energy tax credits that supports 1.1 GW of offshore wind installations.

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