Record Growth Drives Global Wind Power Capacity 19% Higher



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Triple Pundit

A rush to start construction before expiration of the U.S. wind energy production tax credit (PTC), and record growth in Europe fueled new global wind energy capacity nearly 19 percent higher in 2012, making up for slower growth in China and India. Adding 15.75 gigawatts (GW) of new nameplate wind power capacity – 13.2 GW in China – the Asia region continued to lead the world in new wind power installations nonetheless, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).Looming expiration of the wind energy PTC in the U.S. led a rush by project developers to install wind turbines as quickly as possible, though a last-minute compromise led to Congress extending the PTC through 2013. More than 8,000 megawatts (MW) of new nameplate wind power capacity was installed during 2012′s fourth quarter in the U.S. alone, bringing the annual tally to 13,124 MW, according to GWEC’s Global Wind Power Statistics 2012, which was released on February 11.