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United States

United States

Development

There is no sign of the phenomenal rate of growth in wind power slowing. The yearly growth rate is still around 36%. New capacity over the past three months is in excess of 700 MW, almost all of it in Europe. The world total is now well over 12,000 MW. Germany accounted for more than half of the past quarter's new additions, thanks to its generous support system. Denmark is also going strong and wind plant now account for 17% of the country's total generating capacity of 10,000 MW. This is the highest national penetration anywhere.

In the lull before the next tax credit storm in the United States, just a handful of turbines went up. Nordex completed a long delayed project of 1 MW machines on Painted Hill near Palm Springs, Vestas installed one lone V47 for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and one V47 for Lincoln Electric in Nebraska. The quiet spell is not likely to last. The ink was hardly dry on President Bill Clinton's signature on the tax credit extension before developers were ringing their meteorologists for wind analyses.

The national totals in the table are as accurate as we can make them in mid-December, but they are not the definitive end of year tally. The Windicator counts operating wind power capacity. The Canada, Spain and China totals have been adjusted downwards due to earlier over-optimistic counts by The Windicator team, and not because wind capacity in these countries has been taken off-line. Watch for end 1999 totals in our next The Windicator in the April issue.

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