The world's wind power capacity increased nearly 32 percent in 2009, according to the International Energy Agency annual wind report released this week.
There is a total of 111 gigawatts of wind capacity, enough to cover the electricity needs of Australia and Ireland combined.
"The contribution of electricity from wind continues to grow even in this time of economic downturn," the report states.
Relying on wind and other renewable energy sources can reduce carbon emissions, cut electricity costs and decrease reliance on imported fuels, the
The United States has the most wind capacity in the world, with 35,086 megawatts installed, according to the report.
The proposed federal renewable electricity standard could bolster that figure, although developer Jaime McAlpine said the economy may slow turbine construction a bit.
He said most experts predict wind development over the next two years will not reach the level it attained in 2009.
Oklahoma Energy Secretary Bobby Wegener said cost, scale and policy support will determine the
"You have to look at the full picture," he said.
Wegener said improved technology has made wind power a more competitive electricity option, but its intermittent nature means it can only make up a part of a utility company's
A renewable electricity standard would make it possible to export wind power to states in need of renewable energy, he said.