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Study: Wind power soared in 2006

Global wind power output saw a big boost last year, jumping 26 percent and creating enough power to offset 43 million tons of CO2, according to a report Thursday afternoon.

The wind power industry made big strides last year, according to a Worldwatch Institute report released late Thursday.

15,200 megawatts of new wind turbines were installed around the world last year, representing a 26 percent jump in global wind power capacity, according to the study.

By year's end, total wind power capacity exceeded 74,200 megawatts, enough to offset 43 million tons of carbon dioxide, the institute said.

Germany, Spain and the United States are currently the world's top wind power producers, putting out 60 percent of the global total, but the report says the alternative energy winds are shifting eastward. India and China were No. 3 and No. 5, respectively, in a list of countries installing new wind turbines. Senior Researcher Janet Sawin predicts the U.S. and China will compete for the top spot in window power output in the coming years.

You can access more details from the report at the Worldwatch Institute's Web site here.