The star performers last year were, as usual, Spain and Germany with about 1800 MW each so far. Spain's capacity rose by 29% and Germany's by 13%. Spain put another milestone behind it with installed national wind capacity topping that of nuclear at 7606 MW. Industry estimates project that wind is now meeting 6.5% of total electricity requirements in Spain, covering 20% of the near 6% growth in demand. Other impressive performers in Europe were Austria (up 41%), Portugal (up 37%) and the UK (up 34%). Overall wind capacity in Europe rose by 17%.
Elsewhere there were no spectacular performances, but capacity in Australia rose by 29%, with the promise of more to come and India is coming on strong, with what looks like an increase of more than 30%. In the United States, almost an entire year without a PTC meant capacity rising just 7%.
Although weaker performances from America and Germany -- and a complete standstill in Denmark -- are depressing the overall capacity increase, it has still doubled every three years. Even if the growth rate sticks at 20% (unlikely in 2005 which is set to beat all records), that it is a doubling of capacity every four years. No reason for gloom.