Wind energy

Wind power continues to grow strongly, providing 3% of global power

Wind power generating capacity grew by 16.9% in 2015, with capacity increasing by 63 GW to reach 435 GW by the end of 2015.

China leads the world in terms of installed wind capacity (145 GW), and in 2015 China recorded the largest addition of new wind capacity (30.5 GW), followed by the US (8.6 GW) and Germany (5.8 GW).

Wind power generation grew by 17.4% in 2015 to reach 841 tWh, or 3% of total world electricity generation. That is almost equivalent to the total power generation of France and Italy combined.

Wind has become an important contributor to European electricity generation. In Denmark, wind power provided almost 50% of power generation in 2015. Wind power now provides 15% or more of power generated in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, in Lithuania. Germany, the largest wind power producer in Europe, obtained 13.6% of its power from wind last year. Wind has a much smaller share in the US, the largest wind power producer in the world, where it contributed 4.5% of power generation; and in China, where wind provided just 3.2% of power in 2015.

The growing share of wind power in the electricity mix presents unique operational challenges to grid operators. Because of the unreliability of wind power, adding more wind generation capacity to the grid increases the need to boost the percentage of overall plant capacity set aside to provide ancillary services.

Installed wind generation capacity

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