Wind Power Provides Needed Burst of Energy
The 15,200 megawatts of new wind turbines installed worldwide last year will generate enough clean electricity annually to offset the carbon dioxide emissions of 23 average-sized U.S. coal-fired power plants, according to a report from the Worldwatch Institute, Washington, D.C. The 43,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide displaced in 2006 is equivalent to the emissions of 7,200 megawatts of coal-fired power plants, or nearly 8,000,000 passenger cars.
Global wind power capacity increased almost 26% in 2006, exceeding 74,200 megawatts by year's end. Global investment in wind power roughly was $22,000,000,000 and, in Europe and North America, the power industry added more capacity in wind than it did in coal and nuclear energy combined. The global market for wind equipment has risen 74% in the past two years, leading to long backorders for wind turbine equipment in much of the world.
Germany, Spain, and the U.S. generate nearly 60% of the world's wind power, but the industry is shifting quickly from its European and North American roots to a new center of gravity in the booming energy markets of Asia. …