Wind farms turn in record growth in 2012

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Des éoliennes au Brésil © AFP/Archives Yasuyo

PARIS – (AFP) – Wind farms added a record 44.7 gigawatts of electricity production last year, increasing capacity 19 percent to 282.5 gigawatts, the Global Wind Energy Council said Monday.

The trade body said the United States had a record year, adding more than 13 gigawatts 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 13.2 gigawatts of wind generation capacity last year, while India added 2.3 gigawatts, 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 percent of the total at 282.5 gigawatts.

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

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

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

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


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