100 countries now using wind power - 2012 world growth report

wind converters

World Wind Energy Association presents World Wind Energy Report 2012
Bonn, 16 May 2013 (WWEA) – The World Wind Energy Association has today launched the World Wind Energy Report 2012. The full version is available here. The worldwide wind capacity reached 282’275 Megawatt, out of which 44,609 Megawatt were added in 2012, more than ever before. Wind power showed a growth rate of 19.2 %, the lowest rate in more than a decade. All wind turbines installed by the end of 2012 worldwide can provide 580 Terawatthours per annum, more than 3% of the global electricity demand. The wind sector in 2012 had a turnover of 60 billion Euro/75 billion USD.


Altogether, 100 countries and regions used wind power for electricity generation; Iceland has become the 100th. China and USA both installed around 13 Gigawatt of new wind turbines; USA added most of it in the second half of the year in a rush to avoid the anticipated PTC expiration.


By continents:

o Asia accounted for the largest share of new installations (36,3 %), followed b North America (31,3 %) and Europe (27,5 %). Latin America stood for 3.9 % and Australia/Oceania for 0,8 %. Africa (0,2 %) is still a tiny wind market.

o Latin America and Eastern Europe continue to be the most dynamic world regions while Africa showed stagnation, with only Tunisia and Ethiopia installing new wind farms.

• Asia:
o China continued to be the by far largest Asian market and added 13 Gigawatt, however, significantly less than in the previous year.

o India was again the third largest market for new wind turbines worldwide, adding 2.5 GW. The third largest Asian wind market, Japan, still grew very slowly and installed less than newcomer Pakistan.

• North America:
o The US market set a new record and became the world’s largest market for new wind turbines, adding 13 GW.

o The Canadian market slowed down and grew below the global average.

• Europe:

o Germany continued its role as the largest and most stable market in Europewith 31 GW, followed by Spain with 22,8 GW.

o UK took over the position as second largest European market for new turbines from Spain which installed even less than Italy.

o Italy, France and the UK continued to be the medium-sized markets, with total capacity between 7,5 and 8,5 GW. Poland, Romania and Sweden became major markets for new turbines.


The share of offshore wind in the overall capacity increased to 1.9 %, after 1.5 % in 2011. Policy uncertainties in major markets represent a major barrier for wind penetration.


WWEA expects a global capacity of more than 500,000 Megawatt by 2016. Around 1,000,000 Megawatt are possible by 2020.


100th wind power country Iceland

The energy sector in Iceland: 100% power from renewables

Due to its abundant natural hydro- and geothermal resources, Iceland already generates 100% of its electricity with renewable resources, with about 70% coming from hydropower and 30% from geothermal power. Most of the plants are operated by the company Landsvirkjun which is owned by the Icelandic state and is the main supplier of electricity in Iceland.


Iceland enjoys a unique position with about 85% of total primary energy consumption coming from renewable energy sources generated domestically. In 2011, geothermal energy provided about 66% of primary energy (mainly for heating), the share of hydropower was 19% and fossil fuels (mainly oil) 15% for the transport sector and the fishing fleet. End of 2012, the country installed its first wind turbines with a capacity of 1.8 MW.


Hörður Arnarson, CEO of the Icelandic utility Landsvirkjun: “It is entirely possible that wind energy could become the third pillar in Landsvirkjun’s operations in the future, adding to the list of renewable sources already utilised by Landsvirkjun, such as geothermal and hydroelectric power. It will be interesting to see how wind power in Iceland can be utilised in conjunction with hydropower as the flexibility of hydroelectric power could in fact increase the value of wind power.”


For more information, please contact:


Stefan Gsänger

- Secretary General -
World Wind Energy Association

WWEA Head Office
Charles-de-Gaulle-Str. 5
53113 Bonn

Tel. +49-228-369 40-80
Fax +49-228-369 40-84


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