Wind power is Europe’s fastest growing electricity generating technology, according to figures released this week
The European Wind Energy Association said 2008 saw more new energy produced from wind farms than any other source, including gas, oil, and coal.
Wind farms accounted for 8,484MW of new energy in 2008, compared to 6,932MW from new gas power stations, 2,495MW from new oil power plants, and 762MW in new coal power.
An average of 20 new wind turbines were installed every working day in 2008, increasing Europe’s wind energy generation by 15% to 64,949MW.
In a normal year of wind, Europe’s wind farms would now generate 143TWh of electricity – over 4% of European energy needs.
The carbon emissions saved are the same as taking 50 million cars off Europe’s roads.
Meanwhile, the US has become the largest wind energy generating nation, overtaking Germany.
US wind power capacity increased 50% last year to 25GW, providing power for over five million homes.
Germany’s wind power capacity is 24GW. It is followed by Spain and China, which doubled its capacity for the fourth year running to over 12GW.