Wind power installed worldwide grew by 22.5% in 2010, to reach 194.4 GW, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Investments in the sector amounted to 47,300 million euros last year. However, this growth was the lowest in the last twenty years.
For the first time, more than half the new capacity was installed outside the traditional markets, Europe and North America, with China as a leading exponent of growth. In total, 16.5 GW were installed in the country, with a total of 42.3 GW, has overtaken the U.S. as the first country in wind energy. China also has become the largest wind power equipment manufacturer.
The wind also increased significantly in other emerging countries like India, Brazil and Mexico. In Europe, 9.3 GW installed wind power, bringing the total capacity of 84 GW, according to EWEA. In total, we invested U.S. $ 13,000 million, approximately the same amount as in 2009.
The increase was higher in European offshore wind, led by Britain, Denmark and Belgium than in land, where the highest growth occurred in Romania, Poland and Bulgaria. Spain suffered a slowdown in growth, installed 1,516 MW, representing an increase of 8%, according to data from ESA. According to ESA, it is necessary for the issuance of a new regulatory framework as soon as possible to plan ahead.
The reasons cited by GWEC for slower global growth are the financial crisis, low demand for electricity in OECD countries and the U.S. regulatory uncertainty, where renewable energy undergo continuous fluctuations due to the lack of long-term energy policy .
Regarding the situation in Europe, EWEA warned that the sector urgently needs better access to finance to keep the lead.