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IEA Wind Annual Report Highlights 24% Increase in Global Wind Generation in 2011

IEA31 July 2012: The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published IEA WIND's 2011 Annual Report, outlining trends in wind energy deployment, as well as cooperative research, development and deployment efforts of IEA member governments and organizations.

The report indicates that wind power is firmly established as a viable option for increasing green electricity production and continued growth is expected in the future. It notes that, in 2011, global wind generation experienced a 24% increase with the addition of approximately 40 GW of wind generation. The annual report consists of: IEA wind and research task reports: country reports; and appendices. The country reports focus on wind energy deployment and how strategies and research will increase wind's contribution to global energy supply. It indicates that China experienced the highest growth in wind generation at 39% in 2011, although this figure was down from the country's 73% growth of 2010.

The report indicates that some countries experienced less growth than expected due to uncertainty of government programs, low prices for competing energy and the general economic slowdown. The report notes that feed-in tariffs (FITs) were used by 16 of the 21 IEA Wind member countries to encourage wind development, and that programs mandating utilities to supply a portion of electricity from renewables were also popular. Efforts by governments to increase access to financing, provide larger subsidies and issue targeted grants are mentioned as ways to reduce the effect of this problem. Concern about environmental impacts and social acceptance were also mentioned as issues affecting the new wind projects.

The aim of IEA wind is to advance the interests of countries representing 85% of the world's wind generating capacity. [Publication: IEA Wind Annual Report]