Windmills and a power plant can be seen in the distance as beachgoers watch sunset in the city of Dongfang on the western side of China's island province of Hainan. (Photo : REUTERS)
China and Brazil led the global growth in wind energy in 2014, according to the the Global Wind Energy Council.
The council's "2014 Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update" noted China's installed 23 GW of new wind power last year, bringing its total to more than 114 GW. Meanwhile, Brazil was the world's fourth-largest market in 2014, entering the top 10 for the first time.
According to the report, China's 23 GW of new wind power was unexpected and set "another record" for the Asian giant.
"China in 2014 crossed the 100,000 MW mark, adding another milestone to its already exceptional history of renewable energy development since 2005," the report added.
Latin America's wind energy market tripled and posted an installation growth of 80 percent last year from 2013 figures.
Mexico acquired 633.7 MW of new capacity to reach a total of 2,551 MW by the end of 2014, while Chile added 506 MW to reach a total of 836 MW in total installed capacity.
Meanwhile, Uruguay added almost 405 MW of new capacity, Peru added almost 146 MW, and Argentina added 53 MW last year.
America and the Caribbean had added 3,749 MW of new capacity last year to bring its total installed capacity to 8.5 GW, said the report.
"Wind power is reaching critical mass in a number of Latin American markets, and the region has begun developing a substantial wind power industry to complement its rich hydro and biomass (and potentially solar) resources," the report added.
The council expects China to continue leading growth in 2015, and to reach 200 GW "well ahead of the government' s target of 2020. Brazil is expected do the same for Latin America, with Mexico substantially contributing.