China Installs Nearly Half of the Globe's Wind Power in 2011
Worldwide wind power grew once again in 2011, according to the latest research from the Worldwatch Institute. Unsurprisingly, China was the catalyst behind last year's growth.
Although the growth rate was slower than 2009 and 2010, wind capacity continues to expand -- there is now four times as much wind power installed on the planet as there was in 2005.
China represented the world's most active market in 2011. Last year, the emerging global powerhouse was home to 43% of all new wind installations -- more than doubling the developments of its closest competitor, the United States, which housed 17% of new installations.
Despite all the new wind turbines generating energy in China, Mark Konold, the author of the report and Worldwatch's Climate and Energy Program Manager, notes there is still a long way to go in order to realize the full potential of the energy harvested.
"China continues to lead the world in wind capacity additions, having increased its capacity a remarkable 40% since 2010. But a gap remains between this installed capacity and the amount of wind power that is actually available for use in the country. Because of grid connection challenges and other issues, China is struggling to use all of the electricity generated by its turbines."
In an effort to solve this problem, China, the world's largest investor in clean energy, plans to invest more than US$400 billion to improve its electric grid over the next five years. The government believes this development plan will allow it to integrate all of its wind energy by 2015.
Read the full story at the Worldwatch Institute: China Leads Growth in Global Wind Power Capacity
Image credit: George Lu via Flickr
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