Wind Power Outpaces Nuclear, China Outpaces Itself

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A new report issued by the Worldwatch Institute finds that new wind power installations outpaced new nuclear power plant construction by 10-to-1. Globally, the wind industry added 20,000 MW of new capacity last year, while the nuclear industry added less than 2,000 MW.

A big surprise for the author of the report was the massive upswing in wind installations in China:

“The biggest surprise is China, which was barely in the wind business three years ago but which in 2007 trailed only the United States and Spain in wind installations and was fifth in total installed capacity. An estimated 3,449 mega­watts of wind turbines were added in 2007, bringing China’s provisional total to 6,050 megawatts and already exceeding the govern­ment’s target for 2010.”

Other regions and countries experiencing significant growth include Canada (added 386 megawatts), New Zealand (151), Latin America, where Brazil added 161 mega­watts and Chile installed about 18 megawatts, and northern Africa, where Egypt added 80 mega­watts.

The global wind market was estimated to be worth about $36 billion in 2007, accounting for nearly half of all investments in new renewable power and heating capacity last year. As many as 200,000 people around the world are currently employed by the wind industry. These numbers will only rise in coming years.

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