Global Wind Energy Capacity Grew 31 Percent, Study Says

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Wind power capacity grew by 31 percent globally in 2009, with the steepest rise occurring in China, according to a new study.

About 37.5 gigawatts of capacity were added last year, boosting the total capacity worldwide to 157.9 gigawatts, says the Global Wind Energy Council, an industry trade group based in Belgium.

The growth occurred despite the weak global economy as major nations made renewable energy a priority of their economic stimulus plans, said Steve Sawyer, the council’s secretary general.

“Copenhagen didn’t bring us any closer to a global price on carbon, but wind energy continued to grow due to national energy policy in our main markets,” he said.

China doubled its wind capacity, from 12.1 gigawatts to 25.1 gigawatts, accounting for about one-third of the global growth.

But the world leader remains the United States, where the wind market grew by 39 percent in 2009 with almost 10 gigawatts of new capacity, bumping the nation’s total grid-connected capacity to 35 gigawatts. Worldwide, the industry now employs about 500,00 people, the report said.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

photo: thinkpanama

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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