Quick Edit | A hot sun and a cold wind

Quick Edit | A hot sun and a cold wind

The mystic poet Khalil Gibran once asked: “For what is it to die, but to stand in the sun and melt into the wind?"

As the world tries to fashion a post-carbon economy, the sun and the wind are more likely to be equated with life rather than death.

And that is why the latest numbers released this week on installed wind energy capacity around the world make for interesting reading. The US still leads the pack, with 35.2 gigawatts of wind power in 2009, or 22.3% of world capacity, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. But China at No. 3 is catching up. It added 13 gigawatts of wind power capacity in 2009, thus doubling it for the fifth year in a row.

India does not do too badly either. We added 1.3 gigawatts and now occupy the fifth place in this windy league table with around 11 gigawatts of capacity. Now compare that with the government’s ambitious target to set up 20 gigawatts of solar power capacity in India by 2022.

Wind energy has problems, since it is tough to find places that are windy through the year. But this is a good start.