A single turbine
under construction for
the world’s largest wind
farm in Texas
Paris, France — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 04 October 2011 – Global energy consumption rebounded strongly in 2010 after an overall downturn in 2009, with annual growth of 5.4% “’ well above the historical average. Renewable energy, which had no downturn in 2009, also continued its strong growth.

Revealing this information, the latest REN21 report published here said that renewable energy had accounted for approximately half of the estimated 194GW of new electric capacity added globally during 2010, while existing renewable power capacity worldwide had reached an estimated 1,320GW “’ up almost 8% from 2009.

Renewables now comprise about a quarter of total global power generating capacity (estimated at 4,950GW in 2010), and supply close to 20% of global electricity, with most of this provided by hydropower, the report added. When hydropower is not included, renewables reached a total of 312GW in 2010 “’ a 25% increase over the 2009 figure of 250GW. Among all renewables, global wind power capacity increased the most in 2010, followed by hydropower and solar photovoltaics (PV).

At least 52 countries increased wind capacity during 2010, and 83 countries now use it on a commercial basis. Over the five years to end-2010, annual growth rates of cumulative wind power capacity averaged 27%.

The report went on to say that as a result, for the first time, the majority of new turbine capacity had been added in developing countries and emerging markets rather than in wind’s traditional markets. This growth had been driven primarily by China, which had accounted for 50% of global capacity additions in 2010 “’ up from 4.4% in 2005. China had added 18.9GW of new wind “’ a 37% increase over 2009, bringing the country into the global lead with a total of 44.7GW.

The U.S. added just over 5GW in 2010, compared with more than 10GW the previous year, bringing its total to 40.2GW “’ a 15% increase over 2009.

The European Union installed nearly 9.5GW in 2010, down slightly compared with 2009 but bringing the total to about 84GW.