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Wind power drives global renewables growth

WORLDWIDE: A UN-backed thinktank yesterday published a report praising wind power for leading the growth of the renewables sector, especially in emerging economies.

Wind power drives global renewables growth
Wind power drives global renewables growth

The REN21 Global Status Report released today claims that renewable energy, and wind power in particular, continues its strong performance despite continuing economic turmoil, cuts in incentives and subsidies and low natural-gas prices.

"Wind power continues to lead the renewable electricity sector, with more new capacity installed in 2010 than for any other technology," said Global Wind Energy Council secretary general and member of the REN21 Steering Committee Steve Sawyer.

"Equally important to note is that in 2010 for the first time, more wind power was added in developing countries and emerging markets than in the industrialised world."

According to the report, trends for wind power include continued offshore development, the growing popularity of community-based projects and distributed, small-scale grid-connected turbines and the development of wind projects in a wider variety of geographical locations.

Average turbine sizes continued to increase in 2010, with some manufacturers launching 5MW and larger turbines and direct-drive turbine designs captured 18% of the global market.

In 2010, renewable energy supplied an estimated 16% of global final energy consumption and delivered close to 20% of global electricity production. Renewable capacity now comprises about a quarter of total global power-generating capacity.

Including all hydropower (estimated 30GW added in 2010), renewable energy accounted for approximately 50% of total added power-generating capacity in 2010. 

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