United States Leads In Wind Power Production

Feb 9 2009 | 9:38am ET

The United States led the world in total wind power production in 2008, overtaking the 2007 leader Germany, according to the Brussels-based Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

Numbers published by the council last week show the U.S. at the top of the table, with total installed capacity of 25GW, including just over 8GW of new installed capacity from 2008. Germany came in a close second with 24GW of installed capacity.

The U.S. increased its generating capacity by a hefty 50% in 2008, with newly completed wind projects accounting for about 42% of all new power-producing capacity in the U.S. last year.
 
China’s wind power capacity doubled for the fourth year in a row in 2008, reaching 12GW of total installed capacity.
Worldwide, wind energy capacity grew 29% year on year in 2008, reaching total global installed capacity of over 120GW.

“These figures speak for themselves,” said Steve Sawyer, GWEC secretary general, in a statement. “There is huge and growing global demand for emissions-free wind power, which can be installed quickly, virtually everywhere in the world. Wind energy is the only power generation technology that can deliver the necessary cuts in CO2 in the critical period up to 2020, when greenhouse cases must peak and begin to decline to avoid dangerous climate change. The 120 GW of global wind capacity in place at the end of 2008 will produce 260 TWh and save 158 million tons of CO2 every year.”


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