Wind energy expands in 2011 to cover 3% of global energy demand

China added over forty percent of new global wind capacity in 2011 as wind turbine capacity increased fifteen percent during 2011 over 2010 levels to expand windpower a total of 42 Gigawatts during the year compared to 37.6 Gigawatts in 2010, said the World Wind Energy Association in a press release Tuesday.

The preliminary data gathered by WWEA and published to coincide with the third WE20 by 2020 conference in Coimbatore, India takes total wind capacity worldwide close to 239 Gigawatts, enough to cover 3 % of the world’s electricity demand, according to the WWEA.

China’s growth accounted for over 42% of total new capacity as they installed 18 GW of new wind turbines during 2011 taking their total wind energy capacity to 63 GW, more than a quarter of current global wind capacity.

The USA comprised the second largest market for new wind turbines at 6.8 GW, followed by India with 2.7 GW and Germany with 2 GW.

Canada expanded its capacity 1.3GW of new installed capacity during 2011 while Spain, France and Italy approximated 1 GW each.