India ranks fourth in wind energy map

Written by Joseph Vackayil | Chennai, Feb 7 | Updated: Feb 8 2008, 08:54am hrs
Wind power is becoming a mainstream energy source. Over 20,000 mw of wind turbines were installed in 2007 bringing world- wide capacity to 94,112 mw, up 27% from 2006. The top five countries in terms of installed capacity are Germany (22, 300 mw), the US (16,800 mw), Spain (15,100 mw) India (8000 mw) and China (6,100 mw). In terms of economic value, the global wind market in 2007 was worth about $36 billion, according to Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). In capacity addition, the US was in the lead in 2007, followed by China and Spain.

According to the GWEC data, the US installed 5,244 mw of wind turbines in 2007, more than double the 2006 figure. It accounted for 30% of the country's new power producing capacity in 2007. Overall the US wind power generating capacity grew 45% in 2007 with total installed capacity at 16,800 mw.

Spain added 3515 mw of new capacity in 2007. Total capacity now stands at 15,000 mw.

In Europe the capacity of new wind turbines in 2007 reached 8,662 mw and the total capacity reached 57,135 mw. It would avoid about 90 million tonnes of carbon emissions. GWEC quoted the European Wind Energy Association chief executive, Christian Kjaer, as saying that ''it is positive that wind energy is now increasing more than any other power technology in Europe making up 40% of total new power installations''.

China is making rapid strides in wind power generation. In 2007 it added 3,449 mw of wind energy capacity, a growth of 156%. China is ranked fifth in installed wind energy capacity with over 6000 mw at the end of 2007. Based on current growth rates, the Chinese Renewable Energy Industry Association (CREIA) forecast a capacity of around 50,000 mw by 2015.

The growth in wind power market has encouraged domestic production of wind turbines and there are over 40 manufacturing companies. It is estimated that by 2010 the domestic manufacturing capacity in China would go up to 10,000-12,000 mw from the present 5000 mw.

With 8000 mw of installed capacity, India is ranked fourth in the world in total wind power capacity. About 1730 mw new capacity was added up to December-end 2007.

While Europe, North America and Asia continue to see the most important additions to their wind energy capacity, West Asia-North African region increased the wind power installations by 42%, reaching 534mw at the end of 2007. New Capacity was added in Egypt, Morocco, Iran and Tunisia.