China has edged past the European Union (EU) in terms of total installed wind capacity, with 145.1 GW to the EU’s 141.6 GW. This means that China, which erected a stunning 30.5 GW in 2015—nearly half of the 63 GW installed worldwide—now leads the world in cumulative wind capacity (Figure 6).


6. Soaring like the wind. China leads the world in total cumulative wind capacity, having installed a third of the world’s 432.4 GW by the end of 2015. The U.S. is second with 74.5 GW, followed by Germany (45 GW), India (25 GW), Spain (23 GW), the UK (13.6 GW), Canada (11.2 GW), France (10.4 GW), Italy (10 GW), and Brazil (8.7 GW). The rest of the world has installed about 67 GW in total. Courtesy: GWEC

Data from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) show that China’s wind market is seeing annual growth of 22%, driven by its policies for clean energy, climate change, and increasingly stringent pollution standards. Total global capacity reached 432,419 MW at the end of 2015, representing cumulative growth of 17% since 2014.

Among other notable players in the world’s wind power market was India, which added 2,623 MW last year and pushed past Spain into fourth place in terms of cumulative capacity. Meanwhile, despite economic and political troubles, Brazil installed a national record of 2,754 MW, with cumulative capacity reaching 8.7 GW. Uruguay took a giant step closer to its goal of 100% renewable energy with a 2015 market of 316 MW, bringing total installations to 845 MW, GWEC said.

Sonal Patel, associate editor