According to a study by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the US overtook Germany in 2008 to become the world leader in wind-power installations.
The US installed 8,35MW of wind-power systems last year, bringing its total to installed capacity to 25,170MW, overtaking Germany’s installed base of 23,902MW.
Europe and North America are now running neck to neck, with about 8.9GW each of new installed capacity in 2008, with Asia closely following with 8.6GW.
Aside from the US, China, which last year doubled its total capacity for the fourth year in a row, has become a leading market for wind power.
In its response to the global financial crisis, the Chinese government has identified the development of wind energy as one of the key economic growth areas.
‘In 2009, new installed capacity is expected to nearly double again, which will be one-third or more of the world’s total new installed capacity for the year,’ said Li Junfeng, secretary general of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industry Association (CREIA).
At this rate, China would be well on its way to overtake Germany and Spain to reach second place in terms of total wind-power capacity in 2010. China would then have met its 2020 target of 30GW 10 years ahead of time.
The growing wind-power market in China has also encouraged domestic production of wind turbines and components, and the Chinese manufacturing industry is becoming increasingly mature, stretching over the whole supply chain.