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Wind power winners: Top 20 countries per capita

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With a freshly disappointing ranking in global clean energy technology stakes, it’s not altogether surprising to find that Australia is also quite far behind the pace in the global wind energy stakes. Cleantechnica‘s Zachary Shahan has delved into the findings of the most recent study by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), released in February, and ranked the top 20 countries in terms of cumulative installed wind power (per MW) per million people (end of 2011), and newly installed wind power per million people (2011). The result finds Australia ranked at number 17 in terms of cumulative installed capacity, and an even more disappointing 19th in the ranks of newly installed capacity.

Below are the two tables Shahan has put together, the first the Top Countries for Cumulative Installed Wind Power per Million People (End of 2011), and second the Top Countries for Newly Installed Wind Power per Million People (2011)

Source: CleanTechnica

 

Source: CleanTechnica

Interestingly, China ranks behind Australia on the cumulative capacity table (at no.19), but comes in at no.15 in the newly installed stakes. Cape Verde, meanwhile, is going gangbusters, ranking at number 18 in the cumulative capacity table, but soaring to number three for newly installed capacity. “Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Germany, and Sweden continue to dominate when it comes to total installed wind power per capita,” says Shahan, “while the top countries in new installation capacity per capita in 2011 were Sweden, Ireland, Cape Verde(!), Canada, Denmark, Greece, and Germany.”

The below chart is from the GWEC. China and the US appear to dominate in both charts, but as Shahan points out, China’s figures, like America’s, are “quite mediocre when installed wind power is compared to population.”

Source: GWEC

Shahan says he will soon be compiling rankings for wind power leaders per GDP and per electricity production, and flags “some bigger surprises” will be revealed. We will watch with interest.

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  • Jonathan Maddox

    I’d think the “fraction of electric generation” metric (compensating for low capacity factor and low per-capita electricity consumption) is somewhat more significant than the “capacity per capita” metric. China’s figure is more encouraging there: over 5% of total generation as at the end of 2010 and presumably significantly higher today.