Worldwide wind turbine capacity has hit 239 GW, with additions last year at a record 42 GW, according to the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA).

Emerging markets have driven the sector’s continuing growth after its stagnation in several industrialised countries, according to preliminary data published for the third WE20 by 2020 conference in Coimbatore, India.

Global wind turbine capacity is now enough to cover 3 per cent of the world’s electricity demand, said the WWEA. New capacity in 2010 totalled 37.6 GW.

China was both the largest and fastest-growing market, with a total capacity of 63 GW and about 18 GW of new capacity over 2011. The USA came second in both scores, with 47 GW of capacity and 6.8 GW added last year.

In terms of new capacity, India was third with 2.7 GW, followed by Germany (2 GW) and Canada (1.3 GW). Spain, France and Italy each added about 1 GW. 

Strong growth in emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil and Mexico offset stagnation and even decreases in several European markets, according to the WWEA.

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