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WWEA: 100 countries now using wind power

The 2012 report by the World Wind Energy Association shows 100 countries are using electricity generated by wind turbines, with Iceland recently becoming the 100th nation to deploy wind power. However, the market’s overall growth rate of 19.2 % is the lowest rate in more than a decade, despite an annual turnover of €60bn, according to the report.

The association‘s World Wind Energy Report 2012 says global wind capacity has now reached over 282GW – 44.6GW was added in 2012 alone, the most ever added in a single year.

By end 2012, the total worldwide wind turbines installed can provide 580TWh per annum, more than 3% of global electricity demand. The share of offshore wind in the overall capacity increased to 1.9 %, from 1.5 % in 2011, the report adds.

The USA and China both installed around 13GW of new wind capacity. Record-breaking new installations in the US, most of which occured in second half of the year in a rush to avoid the anticipated expiration of the production tax credit incentive programme, made it the world’s largest market for new wind turbines in 2012.

Other key growth markets included India - which added 2.5GW in 2012 - and Poland, Romania and Sweden in Europe. Germany continued its role as the largest and most stable market in Europe with a cumulative installed capacity of 31GW, followed by Spain with 22.8GW. The UK meanwhile, took over Spain as the second largest European market for new turbines.

Overall, Asia accounted for the largest share of new installations (36.3 %), followed by North America (31.3 %) and Europe (27.5 %). Latin America saw 3.9 % of new global installations, while Australia/Oceania saw just 0.8 %. Africa, meanwhile, with 0.2 %, remains a tiny wind market.

While policy uncertainties in major markets represent a major barrier for wind penetration, WWEA said it expects a global capacity of more than 500GW by2016 and considers around 1000 GW possible by the year 2020.

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