The global wind energy market saw a sound revival in the first half of this year and regained momentum after a weak year in 2010, the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) says in its half-year report.
Worldwide wind power capacity reached 215 GW by the end of June 2011, 18.405 GW of which were added in the first six months of the year. This represents a 15% increase over the first half of 2010, when only 16 GW were added, according to WWEA.
According to the report, the five leading countries in wind capacity continue to be China, the U.S., Germany, Spain and India, which cumulatively represent 74% of the global wind market. China continues to dominate the world wind market, adding 8 GW in only six months. Within those six months, China accounted for 43% of the world market for new wind turbines, compared with 50% in the full year of 2010. By June 2011, China had an overall installed capacity of around 52 GW.
The U.S. market added 2.252 GW between January and June 2011 – about 90% more than in the same period in 2010. Relatively strong growth can be observed in Canada, which installed 603 MW during the first half of the year, with Ontario as the strongest province due to its Green Energy Act.
Most European markets showed stronger growth in 2011 than in 2010. The top markets in Europe continue to be Germany, with a new capacity of 766 MW and a total capacity of 27.981 GW; Spain (484 MW, 21.15 GW in total); Italy (460 MW, 6.2 GW in total); France (400 MW, 6.06 GW in total), the U.K. (504 MW, 5.707 GW in total) and Portugal (260 MW, 3.96 GW in total).
Only France and Denmark showed a decrease in their new installed capacity compared to the first half of 2010. Denmark even dropped off the list of the top 10 markets, while Portugal became the new No. 10.
Emerging wind markets
During the first half of the year, three countries were added to the list of nations that are using wind energy, increasing the number from 83 to 86: Venezuela, Honduras and Ethiopia. In addition, the Dominican Republic installed its first major wind farm and increased its capacity from 0.2 MW to 60.2 MW.
The emerging markets in Eastern Europe showed the highest growth from January to June 2011: Romania with 10% growth (59 MW added); Poland with 22% growth (245 MW added); Croatia with 28% growth (20 MW added); and Estonia with 32% growth (48 MW added).
A number of countries also introduced new and ambitious legislation for wind power, including Ecuador, Malaysia and Uganda, which adopted systems of feed-in tariffs for the development of renewable energy.
WWEA adds that it expects an additional capacity of 25.5 GW to be constructed worldwide in the second half of this year, which would bring new annual installations to 43.9 GW, compared with 37.642 GW in 2010, and total installed wind capacity to 240.5 GW.