US and China became global leaders in wind power in 2008

3 February 2009 - The USA has taken Germany's crown as the world's leader in wind power installations, reports the Global Wind Energy Association, and China's total capacity doubled for the fourth year in a row.

Global wind energy capacity grew by 28.8 per cent last year, higher than the average over the past decade, to reach total installations of more than 120.8 GW at the end of 2008. This represents in excess of 27 GW of new wind power generation capacity, an increase of 36 per on 2007.

According to Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the GWEC, the 120 GW of global wind capacity in place at the end of 2008 will produce 260 TWh and save 158 million tons of carbon dioxide every year."

Wind energy is now seen as an important player in the world's energy markets. The global wind market for turbine installations in 2008 was worth over €36bn ($47bn).

The leading markets in terms of new installed capacity in 2008 were the USA and China.

New US wind energy installations reached 8358 MW and with a total installed capacity of 25 170 MW the US has officially overtaken Germany (23 902 MW) as number one in wind power.

Europe and North America are running neck-to-neck, with about 8.9 GW each of new installed capacity in 2008, with Asia closely following with 8.6 GW.

The massive growth in the US wind market in 2008 increased the nation's total wind power generating capacity by 50 per cent. The new wind projects completed in 2008 account for about 42 per cent of the entire new power generating capacity added last year, and created 35 000 new jobs.

At year's end, however, financing for new projects and new orders for turbines and components slowed to a trickle as the financial crisis began to hit the wind sector.

"The US wind energy industry turned in a record-shattering performance in 2008" said Denise Bode CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, but at the same time he acknowledged that "it is clear that the economic and financial downturn have begun to take a serious toll on new wind development."

However, he added that: "We look forward to working with President Obama and the new Congress on policies to restore the industry's vital momentum and achieve the president's goal of doubling renewable energy production in three years."

The growth in Asia's markets has also been strong; close to a third of all new capacity last year was installed on the Asian continent. In particular, the wind energy boom is continuing in China, which once again doubled its installed capacity by adding about 6.3 GW, reaching a total of 12.2 GW.

In its response to the 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.

If this rate continues China would be set 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 30 GW ten 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.

"Now, the supply is starting to not only satisfy domestic demand, but also meet international needs, especially for components," said Li Junfeng.

"In 2009, Chinese companies will start to enter the UK and Japanese markets, and orders for 200 blades have already been placed. There are also ambitions for exploring the USA market in the coming years."

In Europe, almost 8.9.GW worth of new wind turbines brought total wind power generation capacity up to nearly 66 GW. This makes wind power the leading power source for new generation capacity, according to the European Wind Energy Association.

While in the past, European growth was primarily spurred by the established markets in Germany, Spain and Denmark, last year saw a much more balanced expansion, led by France, the UK and Italy.

"We're on track to meeting our target of saving 1.4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2020", concluded Sawyer, "but we need a strong, global signal from governments that they are serious about moving away from fossil fuels and protecting the climate."

A positive outcome to the climate negotiations throughout this year, resulting in a new global agreement in Copenhagen in December, is of fundamental importance and will send the kind of signal that the industry, investors and the finance sector need for wind power to reach its full potential says the GWEC.

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

Community-funded wind farm completes NY environmental review

Local officials say the proposed Black Oak Wind Farm in the Finger Lakes town of Enfield has met all requirements under the state's environmental review process.

NextEra works with Hawaiian cattle company on wind energy development

A cattle ranching company in Hawaii, Parker Ranch Inc., said Jan. 16 that the Parker Ranch Foundation Trust (PRFT) has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources LLC that provides NextEra with long-term access rights to PRFT lands to develop wind energy.

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter
Latest News

Products May 2015

Callaway Energy Center's Replacement Reactor Vessel Closure Head Project

Replacing heavy equipment is one way utilities can extend the life and increase the reliabili...

Managing CCRs and Process Water: Why Handling Bottom Ash Wet May Remain The Best Option

The U.S. coal-fired electric generation industry once again finds itself in the crosshairs of...

Achieving Optimal Economic Benefit from Air Inlet Cooling

Gas turbines have been widely deployed in industrial applications for decades and are used to...

Southern Company acquires 103-MW solar project in Georgia

Southern has acquired or is constructing more than 1,100 MW of renewable energy generating ca...

Making Sense of Greenhouse Gas Regulations

Heaven help the country's power producers. They've lately faced a perfect storm of environmen...

Planning for the Wastewater Impacts of the CCR Rule and Effluent Limitation Guidelines

In April 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule in the F...

The Role of Coal: A roundtable of four industry executives discuss the future of coal-fired power generation

No one will deny that the coal-fired power industry faces many challenges as it moves into th...

Power Engineering Current Issue

01/01/2015
Volume 119, Issue 1
1501pe-cover-lg
Products Showcase
Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015

Power Industry Wire News

MIC President Marybeth Miceli Named to AATA Board of Directors; AATA to Provide Free NDT Job Training to Vets, Disadvantaged Young Adults

MIC President Marybeth Miceli Named to AATA Board of Directors; AATA to Provide Free ND...

Alexium Anticipates Potential Addressable Revenue of More Than US$10M for 2015

Alexium Anticipates Potential Addressable Revenue of More Than US$10M for 2015

Upcoming Greenhouse Webinar Teaches Companies How to Engage Engineers in Hiring Top Tech Talent

Upcoming Greenhouse Webinar Teaches Companies How to Engage Engineers in Hiring Top Tec...

Perma-Fix Environmental Services to Present at the Marcum MicroCap Conference

Perma-Fix Environmental Services to Present at the Marcum MicroCap Conference

Blue Earth Receives Notice From NASDAQ That the Company Is No Longer Subject to a Possible Delisting

Blue Earth Receives Notice From NASDAQ That the Company Is No Longer Subject to a Possi...

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>