World Wind Energy Capacity in 2009
Renewable energy generated from wind power is increasing each year with some areas of the world developing this resource faster than others.
The United States of America is out in the lead with a total wind capacity of 35.2 Gigawatts of installed wind turbines. Around 10 GW of that was installed last year.
Second place goes to Germany with 25.8 GW of wind energy production. While Germany produces less than the USA if the comparative electrical demand is taken in to account, Germany produces more of its energy by wind than the USA. The average energy use of an American is nearly twice than of a person from Germany.
The third place prize goes to China which in 2009 had a capacity of 25.1 GW just behind Germany. While China is placed third for generating capacity it takes first place for the rate of new installations. Comparing 2008 and 2009 China increased its wind generating capacity by 50%.
World wide the earth has a total of 158 GW of wind generation in operation which amount to around 1% of the worlds needs. This is still dwarfed by the massive 17,109 GW of energy consumed. The USA accounts for 22% of worlds energy usage.
Those figures are are for the amount of energy that could be produced providing the wind was favorable. Actual usable wind capacity is around 25% of the maximum possible.
As we all know producing renewable energy with wind has a big problem - The wind does not always blow. There is no denying that the wind cant be controlled and if the production happens at night or off-peak times then the energy currently can not be stored.
Improvement can be had with having wind farms spread over a large area that would help balance out energy production but it does still have problems for massive scale energy reliability.
For wind installation which are used to power homes or business then the problem is not so severe. These premises can produce and use energy from wind when the conditions are right and should the wind drop then we can fall back on power from the grid.
Even with the reliability of generation, wind energy should be encouraged as a portion of the worlds needs along with other clean forms renewable energy.