Wind power has the second largest global installed capacity of all renewable energy sources. It also happens to have the second largest capacity increase for the year ending 2018. In this article, I take a look at the top 10 wind energy producing countries at the end of 2018.
The data I have used for this article comes from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Each year, IRENA produce a comprehensive report of global renewable energy capacity statistics. It is their 2019 report that forms the basis of this article. The report estimates global renewable energy capacity at the end of 2018. If you are interested in obtaining a copy for yourself, you can find it here.
The Top 10
The following table shows the top 10 wind energy producing countries at the end of 2018. I will expand on these statistics in the sections that follow.
#1 – China
As you can see from the statistics, China is by far the largest producer of wind energy. For the year ending 2018, the country had an installed capacity that was nearly double that of second place the United States.
China has seen tremendous growth in wind power capacity over the last ten years. Back in 2009, the country had a capacity of just 17,599 MW. Whilst this figure would still see China make the top 10 today, it’s less than one-tenth of the country’s current capacity.
#2 – USA
The United States of America is the world’s second largest producer of wind energy. With a total installed capacity of 94,295 MW at the end of 2018, the country is a major player in the wind industry.
Ten years ago, the USA had a wind energy capacity of 34,296 MW. Whilst today’s figure shows a significant increase over this ten year period, it cannot be compared to the success China has achieved.
#3 – Germany
Third place goes to Germany. The country has the largest wind energy capacity in Europe. In fact, they have more than double the capacity of their closest European rivals; Spain and the United Kingdom.
Germany has experienced steady growth over the last ten years. The country has established itself as a leader in wind energy technology. Many of the worlds leading wind turbine manufacturers are either based in Germany or have a manufacturing facility there.
#4 – India
Fourth place goes to India. Whilst solar energy might grab all the headlines when it comes to India’s renewable energy credentials, it is wind energy that has the largest capacity of the two. At the end of 2018, solar energy accounted for a capacity of 27,098 MW whereas wind energy in India had a capacity of 35,288 MW.
India has experienced modest growth in its renewable energy sector over the last 10 years. The country has more than tripled the amount of installed wind capacity over this period; from 10,925 MW in 2009 to today’s figure of 35,288 MW.
#5 – Spain
Halfway down the list is the country of Spain which is the second largest producer of wind energy within the European Union. Spain has seen low-level growth in wind energy over the last ten years. Since 2009, the country has only been able to increase capacity from 19,176 MW to 23,436 MW.
#6 – United Kingdom
Sixth place in the list goes to the United Kingdom. The country came close to beating Spain with a wind energy capacity of 21,736 MW at the end of 2018.
The UK is strategically placed to take full advantage of the wind. This island nation has increase wind energy capacity by nearly 500% since 2009. This has resulted in a capacity added of 17,314 MW over the last ten years.
#7 – France
From seventh place onwards, competition becomes fierce. The data shows how France narrowly beat Brazil for the status of the seventh largest producer of wind energy in 2018.
#8 – Brazil
Narrowly missing out on seventh place is Brazil who had a wind energy capacity of 14,401 MW at the end of 2018. Instead, the country is placed eighth in the list of wind energy producing countries for this period.
#9 – Canada
Ninth place goes to Canada. The country produced 12,816 MW of wind energy in 2018. In fact, this is nearly a 400% increase in wind energy capacity since 2009 when the country had a capacity of 3,282 MW.
#10 – Italy
Last in the list of the top 10 wind energy producing countries is Italy. The country reached a capacity of 10,310 MW in 2018. This makes Italy the fifth largest producer of wind energy within the EU.
So there we have an overview of the countries that produced the most wind energy in 2018. From the data, we can conclude that China is by far the largest producer of wind energy. The country will take some beating should any other country attempt to rival its wind energy credentials.
The United States should also receive a special mention here. Although China is way out in front, the USA is itself way ahead of its closest rival Germany.
You can see from the data that five of the top 10 wind energy producing countries are in Europe. This shows how the continent has embraced wind power as a viable alternative to non-renewable alternatives.
Lastly, I would like to offer a thank you to IRENA for the hard work they put in each year collecting and reporting on global renewable energy capacity statistics.