Worldwide installed wind capacity will increase by at least 1300 MW this year, up from 1200 MW in 1996 and just slightly higher than the increase in 1995, predicts the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The lobby group also predicts that Germany, sometime this year, will for the first time surpass the United States to become the world leader in terms of total installed wind capacity. As of the end of last year, AWEA estimates that total installed wind power in the world had reached 6180 MW in nameplate capacity because of a 24% increase over the previous year's base. The preliminary figures, says AWEA, suggest that increased capacity in 1996 was about the same as it was the year before. Germany and India experienced, not surprisingly, the largest increases in 1996 at 439 MW and 254 MW, respectively, although India's was down substantially from a year earlier. Still, sometime during 1996 India surpassed Denmark to become the third ranking country in the world in wind. In conclusion, AWEA predicts that China will see some 100 MW go on-line this year; that wind in tiny countries such as Costa Rica will continue to grow rapidly; that Mexico plans a 54 MW solicitation; and that Egypt is working on a 240 MW solicitation. A broadened base for wind growth, however, will not be achieved internationally until 1998, says AWEA.
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