An incredible 41,000 megawatts of wind was installed around the world last year. China led the world by installing 18,000 megawatts of wind, a mind-blowing number for one year. The US ranked second and installed 6,800 megawatts, while India came in third with 3,000 megawatts deployed. Other highlights include a record year in Canada for wind development--1,500 megawatts in 2011 in Maple Leaf country--and the Brazilian market jumping 50%. See http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-07/wind-power-market-rose-6-percent-to-41-gigawatts-led-by-china.html.
Let's put in perspective the 41,000 megawatts of wind energy built around the globe in 2011. The world now has 238,000 megawatts of wind capacity or the 2011 wind installations increased the total by more than 20%.
The US has a total of 47,000 megawatts and is a world leader in total wind power installation so as much wind was built around the world in one-year as nearly has been installed ever in the US. Last year's global wind power deployment is more than twice the new generation capacity built in the US from all technologies.
Assuming that each megawatt of wind is equal to about $2 million of investment, the wind industry was about an $82 billion global market in 2011. It is big business.
And 2011 was not a fluke. The 41,000 megawatts installed in 2011 was a 6% increase over the 2010 wind installation total.