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Wind energy growing, IEA report finds

Increase in power generated from wind in the OECD reached its highest level last year.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Wind energy growing, IEA report finds
A report from the International Energy Agency finds new electricity generated from wind resources is on the rise across the 34 members of the OECD. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

PARIS, April 5 (UPI) -- Electricity produced by wind across the 34 members of the OECD increased at its highest rate ever recorded, a report from the International Energy Agency finds.

The IEA published a report on electricity trends across the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development and found an increase of 77 terawatt-hours of power generated from wind resources from 2014, the largest increase recorded by the Paris-based agency.

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The majority of the new wind-generated electricity occurred in European members of the OECD.

Germany is one of the world leaders in renewable energy, a trend emphasized after its decision to move away from nuclear power in the wake of the nuclear tragedy in Japan in 2011. The United Kingdom is close behind and, combined, the European Union has more than 100 gigawatts of wind power online.

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Eurostat, the European statistics office, said data from 2014, the last full year for which it published information, show the share of energy from renewable resources was 16 percent, about 89 percent above 2004 levels, the first year it started keeping records on renewables.

European member states are obligated to use renewable energy to meet 20 percent of their energy needs by the end of the decade.

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In contrast, new electricity generated from solar power saw its largest growth rate in the Americas, with an additional 10.4 TWh added from 2014, the IEA reported. Wind energy markets are less diverse in the Americas, with the United States just moving to advance commercial-scale offshore wind farms.

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A report last month from the World Wind Energy Association, however, finds China and part of North American lead the market in terms of the installation of small-scale wind energy components.

Five countries -- Canada, China, Germany, Britain and the United States -- represent more than half of the market, though China and the United States combine for more than 70 percent of the global market.

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