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World wind capacity increases

WORLDWIDE: The world's wind energy capacity increased by 41GW in 2011, a 21% increase, according to figures from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

Overall the figure is a 6% on 2010. The largest addition came from China, which installed an additional 18GW and almost three times as much as the US with 6,810MW. China took its capacity to over 62GW with the US on 47GW. (See figures in depth).

Other big increases came from India, adding 3GW to go to 16GW, and Germany, adding 2GW to go to 29GW.

Germany was also the major developer in Europe, with Spain and the UK adding 1GW and 1.2GW respectively. Overall Europe installed 10GW to take its total to 96.6GW.

Although the figures show wind capacity continues to grow, rate of growth has slowed. According to GWEC's 2010 figures, capacity increased by 35.8GW a rise of 22.5%.

In emerging markets, Brazil and Mexico continued to add capacity with 583MW (to 1.5GW) and 354MW (873MW) respectively. Both were increases on last year's figures.

Speaking about the figures, GWEC secretary general Steve Sawyer said: "We look forward to more new markets opening up in Africa, Asia and Latin America in 2012 and we expect to see some of the new markets in Latin America beyond Brazil start to approach critical mass.

"But at the end of the day we will be hard pressed to keep the industry’s growth up to its potential without a global price on carbon and other measures to account for the real costs to society of conventional power generation."

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