Top countries with the largest wind energy capacity in the world – Maps | United Kingdom | News

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Denmark may have been a major force in wind power throughout the technology’s first decade in the 1980s, but the industry has changed dramatically since then. China ranks first in terms of total capacity, but it is Sweden that generates the most turbines per capita. The UK – which boasts the world’s largest offshore wind farm – is firmly among the leaders thanks to the government’s multi-billion pound investment in clean energy.

Total global wind capacity reached 837 gigawatts last year – enough to power more than 600 million homes – according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Global wind capacity has increased more than 100-fold since 2000.

“Wind power is at the heart of the energy transition and global wind energy production will continue to grow as governments meet their net zero targets,” said Ben Bakewell, CEO of GWEC.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the cost of generating electricity via offshore wind decreased by 13 percent between 2020 and 2021, and by 15 percent on land.

On the other hand, as governments transition away from fossil fuels and energy companies move into the sector, bidding for wind farm sites is driving up prices.

Last year, six plots of land off the Atlantic coast were sold to the US for a total of $4.4bn (£3.5bn) – more than the country’s record deal for oil and gas exploration rights. A joint venture between German utility company RWE and the UK’s National Grid has paid $1.1 billion (£900m) for the largest ocean plots on offer.

The auction showed the United States’ commitment to wind — President Joe Biden aims for 30 gigawatts of offshore capacity by 2030 — as well as its growing value in the eyes of energy companies.

Winds around the world are more than 100 times as strong today than they were in 1997 (Photo: Getty, candid)

After the oil crises of the 1970s, Denmark made an early pivot towards renewable energy sources. Technology pioneers, the world’s first multi-megawatt wind turbine was built in Olforg in 1978.

Today, although Denmark’s Vestas holds the title of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer according to market analysts Blackridge, the country is no longer in the lead when it comes to installed capacity.

In terms of wind power per capita, the world leader is located across the sound from Copenhagen. Sweden had the capacity to generate 12.08 GW from its turbines in 2021 according to the latest estimates by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

For a relatively sparsely populated country of 10.6 million people, this works out to an average production rate of 110 megawatts per 100,000 people. Sweden is Europe’s largest net exporter of electricity according to WindEurope, thanks primarily to its extensive offshore wind sector.

Read more: The full scope of British wind power has been revealed as the UK is free of Russian gas

Countries are ranked by wind capacity

Despite having the most wind power in the world, China is only the eighth most populous (photo: EXPRESS)

Having led the world in total capacity for a decade between 1997 and 2007, although Germany’s 63.87 GW potential today lags behind China and the United States, it remains first in Europe. Germany’s rate of 77 megawatts per 100,000 ranks it second in the world.

With the cost of gas soaring in the aftermath of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine last year, the German Ministry of Economy and Climate announced plans to increase the country’s onshore capacity to 115 gigawatts, aiming to meet 80% of the country’s electricity needs from renewable sources. by 2030.

The latest IRENA data put Spain’s wind energy capacity at 27.5 GW, at 57 MW per capita – which puts it third on the list. The world’s second largest turbine producer, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) is located on the outskirts of Bilbao in Spain’s Basque Country.

In fourth place is the United States, with an average wind production rate of 39 megawatts per 100,000 Americans. Although it ranks second in the world at 132.74 gigawatts in 2021, some fear growth in the sector will slow despite the ambitions of the White House.

Analysts at Hitachi Energy have forecast that the US will likely add 5.8 gigawatts in annual capacity over the next three years, compared to an average of 13 gigawatts per year between 2019 and 2021.

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China wind turbines mountains

Daguai Mountain Wind Farm in China – The country operates more than a third of the world’s total onshore (Image: GETTY)

The UK ranks fifth by this metric – with a total capacity of 25.73 GW and a rate of 38 per 100,000 in 2021. However, great strides have been made in the last year alone.

In August, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Hornsea II, opened off the coast of Yorkshire. Operated by Danish company Orsted, the site’s 165 turbines can generate 1.3 GW alone – enough to power Manchester.

In fact, in terms of offshore capacity, the UK leads Europe and is behind only China globally, having overtaken Denmark again in 2008. Wind power accounted for more than a quarter of UK electricity demand last year (26.8%) for the first time. .

According to National Grid ESO – the company that manages the country’s energy infrastructure – 21.6 GW of power came from wind in the UK on the evening of January 10th.

Commenting on the news, Dan McGill, Chief Executive of RenewableUK, said: “This is good news for billpayers and businesses, as wind is our cheapest source of new energy and reduces the UK’s use of expensive fossil fuels that drive up energy bills.”

Gas remains the UK’s number one source of electricity – accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the total – but the government hopes to achieve 50GW from offshore wind capacity alone by 2030 as part of its new energy security strategy.

China captured the most wind energy in the world in 2016, and today it is far ahead. With the capacity to generate 328.97 gigawatts from its turbines, China has nearly three times the capacity of the next-place United States.

Data from China’s National Energy Administration indicates that the country installed more wind turbines offshore in 2021 than every other country has built over the past five years – meaning the country now operates nearly half of the world’s offshore capacity, With 26.39 GW out of a total of 54.26 GW. .

However, in terms of population, China’s size means that its output per 100,000 of 23 MW puts it in eighth place, behind France (29 MW) and Canada (37 MW).

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