Wind Power Outpaces Nuclear, China Outpaces Itself

A new report issued by the Worldwatch Institute finds that new wind power installations outpaced new nuclear power plant construction by 10-to-1. Globally, the wind industry added 20,000 MW of new capacity last year, while the nuclear industry added less than 2,000 MW.

A big surprise for the author of the report was the massive upswing in wind installations in China:

“The biggest surprise is China, which was barely in the wind business three years ago but which in 2007 trailed only the United States and Spain in wind installations and was fifth in total installed capacity. An estimated 3,449 mega­watts of wind turbines were added in 2007, bringing China's provisional total to 6,050 megawatts and already exceeding the govern­ment's target for 2010.”

Other regions and countries experiencing significant growth include Canada (added 386 megawatts), New Zealand (151), Latin America, where Brazil added 161 mega­watts and Chile installed about 18 megawatts, and northern Africa, where Egypt added 80 mega­watts.

The global wind market was estimated to be worth about $36 billion in 2007, accounting for nearly half of all investments in new renewable power and heating capacity last year. As many as 200,000 people around the world are currently employed by the wind industry. These numbers will only rise in coming years.


Go China. Denmark gets 22% of their power generation from wind. Wind and solar work particularly well together as night is often the highest production period for wind. I’d think wind and solar together could be responsible for 1/2 of direct power production. The solar technology doesn’t quite appear mature enough yet (Nanosolar may prove me wrong), so the correct course of action is to build lots of wind capacity now, rather than soon stranded coal plants.

While good

One could imagine that measuring in MWh instead of MW would change that figure.

Still 3-to-1 growth in MWh capacity is pretty good.

Then again other Nuclear advocates would insist you include uprating capacity growth.

Then again, assuming the US Wind Production Tax Credit get blocked for 2009, you can expect a dramatic decline in global growth in Wind Power coming up next year.

The Nuclear power industry on the other hand gets their PTC approved for 8 years in advance, instead of only 1 year at a time.

China, however, has plans for massive increases in nuclear power with 36,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity added by 2030. The nuclear share of total electricity generation is projected to rise from 2 percent in 2004 to 5 percent in 2030. Secondly, the coal share of electical generation is projected to reach 84 percent by 2030.

A few thousand windmills, while nice, is not going to change these statistics much.

I think it is better that China, a country with the highest grow rate and population, is building nuclear plants then coal for example. Air polution would be the bigger thread for the earth. But the problem is china should build nuclear plants that focus on safty. I don not think that this is chinas main focus. Nuclear disasters in a country like china would be Horrible!

Nuclear energy uses a fraction of the land area that wind power uses
and also it uses a fraction of the land area that solar power uses.

solar energy panel