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Global Wind Power Capacity Grows by 31% in 2009: Global Wind Energy Council

According to the announcement made by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the global wind power capacity saw a growth of 31% in 2009. The year saw the addition of 37,500 MW, bringing the world’s total installed wind capacity up to 157,900 MW. China’s growth was more than 100% during the year contributing to one-third of the new installations in the world.

Canada added 950 MW of new wind energy capacity with more than $2.2 billion investments making it the 9th in the world for new wind power installations in 2009. With these new additions, Canada’s total installed capacity grew to 3,319 MW.

In the U.S., nearly 10,000 MW of new wind power installations were added in 2009, much against expectations. The total grid-connected capacity has increased to 35,000 MW with these new additions. The fast growth in the U.S. was the outcome of the implementation of the US Recovery Act, which supports the wind energy development up to 2012. The year 2009 marked the end of Canadian government’s support for wind energy and other renewable energy sources through its ecoENERGY for Renewable Power (ERP) program putting at risk the rapid growth of wind industry in Canada.

In the global energy market, wind energy is an important player. The world’s wind turbine installations was valued at 45 billion EUR or 63 billion US$ in 2009.  As per the GWEC’s estimates, the global wind industry employs about half a million people. Europe Asia, North America are the key markets that is driving the wind power industry contributing more than 10 GW each of new installations in 2009.

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