Wind Power Increased 19% In 2006

In 2006 $23 billion worth of new wind generators came on line.

As the high-flying sector keeps enjoying powerful Chinese and U.S. demand, the wind energy market will grow by 19% per year through the end of the decade the Global Wind Energy Council said May 11.

Even though that would mark a slowdown from the annual 24% growth registered in 2002-2006, the market would still double by the end of the decade, the Global Wind Energy Council said. "Despite the strong growth we have witnessed in the past, we estimate that the biggest developments are still ahead," GWEC director Angelika Pullen said.

"Until the end of the current decade, the cumulative capacity of wind energy installations is predicted to reach 149.5 gigawatts, more than double the installed capacity at the end of 2006," she added.

Last year, $23 billion worth of new wind generators came on line worldwide, lifting total capacity by 25% to more than 74 gigawatts.

Although the EU is currently the main market for wind power, demand in both Asia and North America is expanding at "a tremendous pace," the association said. While the U.S. market is expected to become the biggest worldwide by 2010, "the Asian market has exceeded all previous estimations thanks to unexpectedly strong growth in China."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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