Wind farms record growth in 2012

2013-02-11 21:33
Wind energy like this one offshore in Dronten, the Netherlands, is viable for South Africa, an industry insider has said. (Peter Dejong, AP)

Wind energy like this one offshore in Dronten, the Netherlands, is viable for South Africa, an industry insider has said. (Peter Dejong, AP)

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Paris - Wind farms added a record 44.7GW of electricity production last year, increasing capacity 19% to 282.5 gigawatts, the Global Wind Energy Council said on Monday.

The trade body said the United States had a record year, adding more than 13GW of wind capacity due to tax incentives, helping it nearly tie China where growth in the construction of wind turbines slowed.

"While China paused for breath, both the US and European markets had exceptionally strong years," said Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council.

"Asia still led global markets, but with North America a close second, and Europe not far behind," he added in a statement.

China added 13.2GW of wind generation capacity last year, while India added 2.3GW, but the GWEC said it expected a rebound and Asia to once again dominate the market.

In terms of installed capacity, the EU is still top with 37.5% of the total at 282.5GW.

China follows with 26.8% of installed capacity, then the United States at 21.2%.

India has 6.5% of installed wind capacity and Canada 2.2%.

Europe also remains top in offshore wind farms with 90% of the 1.3GW installed last year.

With each wind turbine producing about 2MW of electricity, around 22 350 were installed last year, according to AFP calculations.

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