Brussels, Belgium [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has announced that new wind power capacity brought online in 2007 reached 20 gigawatts (GW). This figure is up by 30% compared to the new installations in 2006, while the sum of the world’s total installations increased by 27% to reach over 94 GW by the end of 2007.
New developments in 2007 have seen the U.S. continuing to lead as the biggest annual market with 5.2 GW of new installations. This was followed by Spain and China, which added 3.5 GW and 3.4 GW to their total capacities respectively.
According to GWEC, Europe remains the leading market for wind energy with over 57 GW of wind energy at the end of 2007, representing 61% of the global total. India also continues to see a steady growth and now counts about 8 GW of wind power installations, up from just over 6.2 GW in 2006. After some slow years, the Pacific market experienced new impetus in 2007, especially in New Zealand, where 151 MW were installed in 2007.“This is the third consecutive year of record-setting growth, establishing wind power as one of the largest sources of new electricity supply for the country,” said American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Executive Director Randall Swisher. “This remarkable and accelerating growth is driven by strong demand, favorable economics, and a period of welcome relief from the on-again, off-again, boom-and-bust, cycle of the federal production tax credit for wind power.”