Wind energy is a well-established source of renewable energy, but what countries have the highest wind energy capacity in the world?
Walney Offshore wind farm of the coast of Cumbria, UK Credit: David Dixon
Wind power has become an important source of energy generation around the world, with global capacity reaching over 600GW in 2018. The construction of new wind power varies year to year and by region; Europe, for example, saw a 32% reduction in wind capacity in 2018 compared with 2017.
Wind energy by country: The top 10
But which countries have the highest capacity of wind energy? Power-technology.com looks at the top 10 countries by installed wind capacity in the world.
- China – installed capacity 221GW
China is the world leader in wind energy, with over a third of the world’s capacity.
It boasts the world’s largest onshore windfarm in Gansu Province, which currently has a capacity of 7,965MW, five times larger than its nearest rival.
The farm is currently only operating at 40% of its capacity, with a further 13,000MW to be installed leading to a grand total of 20,000MW (20GW) in 2020. This expansion is expected to cost $17.5bn.
Despite its size, the Gansu turbines were described as looking “like scarecrows, idle and inert” by The New York Times due to low demand.
- US – installed capacity 96.4GW
The US is in second place with 96.4GW of installed capacity and is particularly strong in onshore wind power.
Six of the largest 10 onshore windfarms are based in the US. These include the Alta Wind Energy Centre in California, the world’s second largest onshore wind farm with a capacity of 1,548MW, Shepherd’s Flat Wind Farm in Oregon (845MW) and Roscoe Wind Farm in Texas (781.5MW).
- Germany – installed capacity 59.3GW