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The market for European wind power capacity broke new records in 2006, according to the annual statistics issued by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

According to EWEA, 7,588 MW of wind power capacity, worth approximately 9 billion euros, was installed last year in the European Union (EU) - an increase of 23% compared to 2005. The cumulative wind power capacity operating in the EU increased by 19% and now exceeds 48,000 MW.

Spain was the second largest market in 2006, with 1,587 MW. France moved up to third place in 2006 (from sixth place in 2005), with 810 MW installed during the year. With 2,233 MW installed during 2006, a 23% increase compared to 2005, Germany passed the 20,000 MW mark. Portugal installed 694 MW of new capacity, more than in any previous year.

With 634 MW installed in 2006, the U.K. also had another record year. Total installed capacity increased by 47%, moving the U.K. closer to 2,000 MW. The Italian market continued to perform well, with a further 417 MW installed, while Ireland set a new record with 250 MW installed, increasing its total capacity by 50%.

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