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The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) recently released its annual figures for 2006 that reveal 15,197 MW of wind energy was installed in 2006 around the world.

With this figure, the total installed wind energy capacity for over 70 countries is 74,223 MW - up from 59,091 MW in 2005. The countries with the highest total installed capacity are Germany (20,621 MW), Spain (11,615 MW), the U.S. (11,603 MW), India (6,270 MW) and Denmark (3,136). Thirteen countries around the world can now be counted among those with over 1,000 MW of wind capacity, with France and Canada reaching this threshold in 2006.

In terms of new installed capacity in 2006, the U.S. continued to lead with 2,454 MW, followed by Germany (2,233 MW), India (1,840 MW), Spain (1,587 MW), China (1,347 MW) and France (810 MW).

"New generating capacity worth $4 billion was installed in 2006 [in the U.S.], billing wind as one of the largest sources of new power generation in the country - second only to natural gas - for the second year in a row," says Randy Swisher, American Wind Energy Association's Executive Director.

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