Global wind electricity-generating capacity increased by 24 percent in 2005 to 59,100 megawatts. This represents a twelvefold increase from a decade ago, when world wind-generating capacity stood at less than 5,000 megawatts. Wind is the world's fastest-growing energy source with an average annual growth rate of 29 percent over the last ten years. In contrast, over the same time period, coal use has grown by 2.5 percent per year, nuclear power by 1.8 percent, natural gas by 2.5 percent, and oil by 1.7 percent.
Europe continues to lead the world in total installed capacity with over 40,500 megawatts, or two-thirds of the global total. These wind installations supply nearly 3 percent of Europe's electricity and produce enough power to meet the needs of over 40 million people. The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has set a target to satisfy 23 percent of European electricity needs with wind by 2030. EWEA also notes that Europe has enough wind resources to meet the electricity demands of all of its countries.