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AWEA makes world no 1 claim for US

UNITED STATES: The US -- not China -- is the global leader in terms of wind power delivered to the grid, according to new research by trade association AWEA.

The Alta Wind Energy Centre in California is the world's largest project cluster
The Alta Wind Energy Centre in California is the world's largest project cluster

The finding is based on grid connected, rather then installed, capacity. According to AWEA, the US has been the world leader by this measure since 2008 contributing more than 167TWh of wind-generated electricity.

In contrast the report found China had generated 138TWh. In installed capacity, China is the world leader with about 90GW in the ground or offshore compared with the US's 60GW.

AWEA's claim is unsurprising. US wind turbines are almost always grid-connected.

In China, the sector's fast growth has stretched the infrastructure to the limit and left a high proportion of new capacity without a connection, although it is doing more to counter this.

The US's wind production tax credit, the main policy supporting the wind sector, rewards power generated — not megawatts installed — during the first decade of a project's life.

The study is based on data sourced from wind project owners by the US Department of Energy's Energy Information Agency, the International Energy Agency, the Global Wind Energy Council and AWEA.

It is authored by James Walker, vice chairman of EDF Renewable Energy and past president of AWEA.

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