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Over the past 20 years, wind energy has become a viable alternative to fossil fuels, adopted by over 70 countries. 2010 saw cumulative installed capacities reach 197,712 MW, compared with 24,052 MW in 2001-a 26.4% increase. Yearly installations have grown from 6,652 MW in 2001 to 37,698 MW last year2010.
Small wind turbine cumulative capacities have grown from 105.9 MW in 2006 to 275.8 MW in 2010, and are forecast to reach 3,726.5 MW by 2020. Although small wind power represents just 0.14% of the 2010 market, the sector is set to increase to 0.48% by 2020 as government incentives come into play. North America, Canada and the UK represent 68% of the market, with the UK adoption rate increasing by over 65% between 2006 and 2010. This compares with a rate of just 29.8% for China, but this region is rapidly becoming a key manufacturing base for small wind turbine equipment.
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