Global cumulative installed capacity of wind power by country 2018

China is by far the largest installer of wind power capacity in the world, more than doubling the second-ranked United States. As of 2018, China had cumulatively installed over 216.87 gigawatts of wind energy, in comparison to 96.4 gigawatts of wind energy installed in the United States. Worldwide, cumulative capacity of installed wind energy reached 596.6 gigawatts in 2018, a generous increase over the last decades. The potential of wind energy around the world is immense, and wind power can often be accessed from remote places, as seen in the rise of offshore wind energy.

What is wind energy?

Electricity can be generated by harnessing the kinetic energy created by air in motion. Wind hits the blades, rotating the turbines that are connected to a generator, and shifts kinetic energy to rotational energy and eventually to electricity. This electricity is then transformed to meet the grid’s voltage levels. The amount of power that can be generated from wind turbines generally depends on the size of the turbines and length of the blades as well as wind speeds. Over the years, wind energy technologies have developed to accommodate much higher rated capacities and have grown in size to match.

Offshore wind

Offshore wind power refers to wind farms that stand within bodies of water, often in the ocean. These offshore wind speeds tend to be faster than on land and tend to be steadier, thus presenting a higher generation potential as well as more reliable energy source. However, offshore wind farms tend to be more expensive to build and maintain than onshore wind farms due to the difficulties of building robust turbines to withstand heavy winds and in deep ocean waters.

Cumulative installed capacity of wind power worldwide in 2018, by country (in megawatts)*

Cumulative installed capacity in megawatts
United States96,363
United Kingdom20,743
Rest of the world102,138
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Supplementary notes

* Preliminary data.
** As of November 2018.

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Statistics on "Global wind power"

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