Wind energy in Australia
Australia has some of the world's best wind resources. Australia's first wind farm was commissioned at Salmon Beach near Esperance in Western Australia and operated for 15 years from 1987.
** In 2012, Australia's wind farms produced more than 7700 GWh of electricity – enough to power the equivalent of over 1 million Australian homes for the first time. Wind power now supplies 3.4 per cent of Australia's overall electricity needs.
At the end of 2012, there were 1397 wind turbines spread across 62 operating wind farms, as well as one small wind farm located in the Australian Antarctic Territory. The amount of wind power in Australia has doubled in the past five years. As of 1 January 2013, an additional 11 projects with a total of 1627 MW were under construction and expected to be fully operational within the next three years.
(**Source - Clean Energy Council - www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au)
The global view
At the end of 2012 there were more than 225,000 wind turbines operating around the world in about 80 countries. The use of wind power continues to grow with installed capacity at the end of 2012 just over 283,000 megawatts, rising to just over 318,000 megawatts byt the end of 2013.
The top four wind energy nations in 2013 were:
China 91,424 **
United States 61,091