That total comes to about 3 percent of the world’s current electricity consumption, according to the World Wind Energy Association.
Together, China and India accounted for more than half of newly installed wind power last year, notes the Global Wind Energy Council. It was the second year in a row in which wind energy capacity growth was dominated by countries outside the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). That trend is expected to continue in years to come.
Meanwhile, it looks as though wind power in the US is set to hit a brick wall in 2012, with the federal wind production tax credit due to expire on Dec. 31 and no apparent political appetite for an extension during a contentious presidential race. (Conservative forces, in fact, are promoting an assortment of anti-wind-energy efforts.)
So which countries are currently in the top 10 for wind-energy production? They are:
- China – 62.4 GW, with 17.6 GW of new capacity added in 2011;
- US – 46.9 GW, with 6.8 GW of new capacity in 2011;
- Germany – 29 GW, with 2.1 GW of new capacity in 2011;
- Spain – 21.7 GW, with 1 GW of new capacity in 2011;
- India – 16.1 GW, with 3 GW of new capacity in 2011;
- France – 6.8 GW, with 0.8 GW of new capacity in 2011;
- Italy – 6.7 GW, with 1 GW of new capacity in 2011;
- Canada – 5.3 GW, with 1.3 GW of new capacity in 2011;
- Portugal – 4.1 GW, with 0.4 GW of new capacity in 2011;
- Denmark – 3.9 GW, with 0.2 GW of new capacity in 2011.