13 Compelling Wind Energy Statistics & Facts

TheRoundup is reader supported. We may earn a small commission when you make a purchase via links on this site, at no cost to you.

Wind power is one of the cleanest and most sustainable sources of energy available to us right now. It is an infinite resource that will never run out, and which produces zero emissions once installed.

But how effective is wind power, how much are we using it, and which countries lead the way?

How does wind energy compare to other energy sources, and what are its pros and cons?

These comprehensive wind energy statistics and data, based on the latest 2022 research, will give you the answers to these and many more questions.

Global Wind Energy Statistics

What percentage of power is produced by the wind?

percentage of electricity from wind graphic

  • 6.59% of Global electricity comes from wind power. Global wind power capacity now stands at over 743 GW.
  • In the US, the figure is higher than it is globally. Wind currently provides 9.2% of electricity in the United States.

(BP / Ember / EIA)

What country produces the most wind energy?

wind energy statistics graph - total capacity by country

China (650.6 TWh) produces more electricity from wind energy than any other country, just as it does from solar.

The United States (379.8 TWh) is the second biggest wind energy producer. The US had led the way until 2016, but since then China’s rapidly increasing wind sector has more than doubled its output.

(Ember)

Which country gets the biggest share of its electricity from wind?

graph showing percentage share of electricity from wind by top countries

Denmark (47.9%) generated the most wind energy as a percentage of its overall consumption in 2021.

Ireland (32.7%) and Uruguay (32.3%) were also very reliant on wind.

More than 50 countries worldwide used the wind to generate 10% or more of their electricity.

(BP / Ember)

How effective is wind power?

The typical efficiency of a wind turbine is between 20% and 45%.

The efficiency determines how much of the wind’s energy the turbine can actually take and convert into electricity. If this sounds low, consider that a 100% efficiency would mean there actually wasn't any wind coming out of the other side of the turbine.

It is therefore meaningless to compare the efficiency of wind power with other forms of energy because they work in completely different ways.

But it is useful when comparing one turbine to another.

(EPA)

Is the use of wind power increasing or decreasing?

graph showing global annual percentage of electricity from wind

The use of wind power is increasing. Statistics show a steady increase in terms of the percentage of global electricity that comes from wind, which more than trebled in a decade between 2011 (2.04%) and 2021 (6.72%).

(Ember)

What is the largest wind farm in the world?

  • The world’s largest wind farm is Gansu Wind Farm, China. It has 7000 turbines and a capacity of 10 GW.
  • The largest offshore wind farm in the world is Hornsea, in the North Sea off the coast of England. It has 174 turbines and a planned capacity of 1.2 GW.
  • The largest wind farm in the US is the Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC) near Mojave in California. It is also the third largest in the world, with 600 turbines and a capacity of 1.54 GW.

(REI)

Which country has the most offshore wind turbines?

graph showing countries with most offshore wind capacity

China has become the largest offshore wind power generator, as well as the largest overall.

It leapfrogged the UK, which was previously the world leader, with a massive expansion in capacity in 2021.

  1. China 19.7 GW
  2. United Kingdom 12.3 GW
  3. Germany 7.7 GW

(WFO)

How many wind turbines are built each year?

There was an additional 93 GW of global wind power capacity installed in 2020, the second largest annual increase on record so far.

This represented a 56% increase in global capacity from the previous year.

86.9 GW of onshore capacity was added, as well as 6.1 GW offshore.

60% of the new wind turbines were added in the Asia Pacific region, mostly in China.

(GWEC)

How many homes can one wind turbine power?

number of homes powered by one wind turbine

On average, a new commercial wind turbine can power 940 homes in the US.

There are caveats of course. Much depends on the size of the house, where it’s located (and the average wind speed in that area), and how much energy is required to run the appliances inside.

But we can make a general estimate using statistical average data.

  • It is estimated that the average US home consumes 893 (kWh) of electricity per month.
  • Modern, newly installed commercial wind turbines are rated at 2.75 MW capacity, meaning they can generate around 843,000 kWh per month.
  • Therefore, one commercial wind turbine operating at an average 42% capacity can reasonably expect to power around 940 US homes.

(EIA / Dept of Energy)

How many wind turbines would it take to power the whole world?

how many wind turbines to power the whole world

It would take around 2.5 Million onshore wind turbines to provide enough electricity to power the whole world in 2022.

This calculation was first done by GWEC secretary Steve Sawyer back in 2016. But since that time, global electricity consumption has increased, as has the output of wind turbines.

We can now update the figure using the same methodology but substituting the variables with 2022 data.

24,877 TWh (Global annual Electricity Consumption)

Divided By

0.010116 TWh (Annual output per new commercial wind turbine @ 843,000 kWh per month)

= 2,459,173 Onshore Wind Turbines

(GWEC / Enerdata)

Sources

GWEC Global Wind Report | EPA | Ember | BP | EIA | EIA | US Department of Energy Land-Based Wind Market Report | Renewable Energy Institute | WFO Global Offshore Wind Report | Enerdata

You May Also Like

With her Master of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering (MSREE) from Oregon Tech, Steph is supremely well qualified to write on all aspects of renewable energy. She has already achieved a zero carbon footprint and her goal is to help as many other people as possible do the same. Her other hobbies include music, yoga, swimming and horror movies.
Stephanie Cole
With her Master of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering (MSREE) from Oregon Tech, Steph is supremely well qualified to write on all aspects of renewable energy. She has already achieved a zero carbon footprint and her goal is to help as many other people as possible do the same. Her other hobbies include music, yoga, swimming and horror movies.

The Roundup

Your guide to a green and eco-friendly lifestyle. We offer simple, practical advice that anyone can follow. Together we can make a difference today & save tomorrow.
SUBSCRIBE FOR UPDATES
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram