US and China top wind race

The US has become number one in installing wind power bypassing Germany last year, according to a recent report from the Global Wind Energy Council based in Belgium. China, meanwhile, has doubled its total capacity for the fourth straight time.

Global wind energy capacity last year was said to have grown by 28.8% reaching a total global installations of more than 120.8 gigawatt. Over 27 gW of new wind power generation capacity came online in 2008, 36% more than in 2007, according to GWEC.

The global wind market for turbine installations in 2008 was said to be worth around EUR 36.5bn ($47.5bn). Here are the stats!

Top 10 total installed wind energy capacity
MW
US 25,170 20.8%
Germany 23,903 19.8%
Spain 16,754 13.9%
China 12,210 10.1%
India 9,645 8.0%
Italy 3,736 3.1%
France 3,404 2.8%
UK 3,241 2.7%
Denmark 3,180 2.6%
Portugal 2,862 2.4%
Rest of the World 10,686 13.8%
Total Top 10 104,104 86.2%
World Total 120,791
Top 10 new capacity
MW
US 8,358 31.0%
China 6,300 23.0%
India 1,800 7.0%
Germany 1,665 6.0%
Spain 1,609 6.0%
Italy 1,010 4.0%
France 950 4.0%
UK 836 3.0%
Portugal 712 3.0%
Canada 523 2.0%
Rest of the world 3,293 12.0%
Total top 10 23,763 88.0%
World total 27,056

The new US wind projects completed last year is said to have created 35,000 new jobs, for a total of 85,000 employed in the sector, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

In China, capacity is expected to nearly double again in 2009, according to the Chinese Wind Energy Association (CWEA).

“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 30,000 MW (30 GW) ten years ahead of time,” said CWEA.

Because of surging capacity increase, the global wind turbine maintenance, repair, and overhaul services (MRO) market is currently growing at double digit rates and is expected to reach a value of $9.1 billion in 2013, up from $3.9 billion in 2008, according to consulting firm Lucintel.

The wind MRO market includes maintenance, repair and overhaul of wind blades, generators, gear boxes and other turbine components.

Who knows, maybe those who lost jobs from the aviation and automotive industry might get opportunities in this area instead.

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