Germany was still the star performer in 2002, increasing its installed capacity by 37%, slightly less than in the previous year. The largest percentage increase among the wind heavyweights was scored by Spain, with a 45% jump. Although activity in the United States accelerated, the increase was a modest 10% -- still described as a "good performance" by AWEA in view of the stop-go nature of US wind energy policy. Elsewhere in Europe, steady progress was recorded in Italy and the Netherlands, which surged well past the United Kingdom, with whom it had been neck-and-neck for some time. That situation could well be reversed this year, as the UK comes out of the doldrums, partly as a result of the Renewables Obligation, partly due to some of the planning bottlenecks being removed.
In the Far East, Japan recorded a 28% increase, albeit from a fairly modest base and there was steady progress in India (which ranks fifth in the world) and China. As our annual markets survey last month revealed, there is a lot of interest in South America and Australia, some likely to be translated into megawatts in the coming year. We still tip Australia as an up-and-coming market in the short term.