Installed wind power capacity continued to grow around the world last year despite the ongoing financial uncertainty with Europe remaining the number one regional leader, according to a new report.
Europe’s installed wind capacity increased by 10,281 MW to 96,616 MW by the end of 2011, the Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC) annual statistics show. In the EU, the new total was 93,957 MW.
Asia was the second place regional leader with 21,298 additional MW of installed wind capacity, bringing its cumulative total to 82,398 MW. North America was in third place with an additional 8,077 MW last year increasing its total capacity to 52,184 MW.
In the latest example of cities getting behind wind power and other renewable energies, Shanghai has announced it might spend as much as €2 billion in the next four years to increase its capacity of green energy, with more than half earmarked for onshore and offshore wind farms.
Shanghai, the largest metropolis in China with 23 million residents, said in a statement that the money would play a key role in achieving a civic target of 1% of energy use coming from locally-developed non-fossil fuels.
China is continuing to put increased emphasis on its expanding domestic wind power sector to help provide ever-increasing amounts of emissions-free electricity.
The latest evidence of China’s unrelenting faith in wind power comes in a report that predicts the rapidly-developing Asian nation could have 1,000 GW of installed wind power capacity by 2050.
Last week an article was published in the Financial Times exploring the potential threat Chinese wind power technology poses to the European wind power industry. The article (published 29 August) points out that Chinese turbine manufacturers are now among the world’s top 10 turbine makers and that China is putting up wind turbines at the rate of one turbine per hour. And it’s not just the Chinese wind power sector that is expanding on the global stage, but South Korea, Japan and others.
One of the most interesting news items in the past week was a report that energy-challenged China is planning to rapidly boost its offshore wind sector to 30 GW by 2020.
According to the nation’s National Energy Administration, China will increase its offshore wind power installed capacity to 5 GW in the next five years and create a complete technology and industrial chain to service the growing sector.