Sustainable Energy

From China to the US: Ten wind energy powerhouses

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The Global Wind Energy Council recently revealed that more than 54 gigawatts (GW) of wind power was installed in 2016, with cumulative capacity hitting 486.8 GW.

Here, CNBC's Sustainable Energy looks at ten of the world's wind energy powerhouses, according to the Global Wind Energy Council's Global Wind Report 2016. The figures are in megawatts (MW), and represent cumulative capacity in December 2016.

Italy – 9,257 megawatts

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With more than 9,000 megawatts of installed capacity, Italy is responsible for 6 percent of the European Union's (EU) wind energy capacity.

Brazil – 10,740 megawatts

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According to the GWEC, Brazil is home to "some of the best wind resources in the world, exceeding the country's current electricity needs three times over."

The GWEC adds that 2016 saw Brazil install 947 wind turbines on 81 sites, generating 30,000 new jobs.

Canada – 11,900 megawatts

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While hydropower is incredibly important to Canada's energy mix, wind power is becoming increasingly significant, with the country ending 2016 with 11,900 MW of capacity according to the GWEC.

The Canadian Wind Energy Association says that as of December 2016, Canada had enough capacity to power three million homes.

France – 12,066 megawatts

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The GWEC says that France saw a record year for wind energy installations in 2016, with 1,560 MW installed, a 45 percent increase compared to 2015.

U.K. – 14,543 megawatts

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According to RenewableUK, the U.K. is Europe's "windiest country" and could "power itself several times over using wind."

An offshore wind powerhouse, the GWEC says that the U.K. "is the world's largest offshore wind market", accounting for a little under 36 percent of installed capacity.

Spain – 23,074 megawatts

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Behind Germany, Spain has the second largest cumulative installed capacity in Europe.

Together, Germany and Spain account for 48 percent of the European Union's total capacity.

India – 28,700 megawatts

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According to the GWEC, 3,612 MW of new installed wind capacity was added in India during 2016.

Germany – 50,018 megawatts

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Like the U.K., Germany is a leader in offshore wind energy. The GWEC says that, in 2016, 156 new offshore turbines were installed by the German offshore wind industry.

The country now has 947 offshore turbines connected to the grid, with enough capacity to power three million German homes.

U.S. – 82,184 megawatts

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The American Wind Energy Association says that, in the last 10 years, the wind industry has invested $143 billion in new wind projects.

The GWEC says that wind power in the U.S. has grown at an average annual rate of 12 percent over the past five years.

PR China – 168,732 megawatts

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China continues to lead the global wind energy market, and installed 23.4 GW of new capacity in 2016.