Most Wind Efficient Countries

Which nations maximise renewable wind energy most?

Henry Man

Apr 29, 2024

With countries globally pledging to reach net zero emissions by 2050 – or some even sooner – the expansion of wind turbines is a key way to limit further climate change.1

As experts in helping Australians compare energy plans and find ways to reduce their carbon footprint at home, we investigated which nations best maximise their renewable energy generation today.

To do this, we indexed the current wind farm capacity and typical wind speed of each country to form an equally weighted ranking.

Top 10 most wind efficient countries

We studied a list of more than 60 countries; here’s what we found:

  • The United Kingdom topped the list with one of the highest wind speeds behind New Zealand – measured in metres per second (m/s) – at an elevation of 100 metres (about the typical wind turbine height)2
  • China currently has the largest wind farm capacity globally – measured in megawatts (MW) – but ranked on par with the United States that has slightly higher wind speeds and the second-highest wind turbine capability
  • European nations dominated the top 10 index, but the Republic of Chile in South America receives the strongest wind speeds
RankCountryOperating Wind Farm Capacity (MW)Typical Wind Speed (m/s)Overall Index Score
1United Kingdom26,60610.189.44
2United States144,9578.979.21

Data collected on 22 February 2024

The least wind efficient countries

Least wind efficient countries banner – Singapore, Cameroon and the United Arab Emirates

1. Singapore – 0.00/10

Singapore landscape with blue ocean

Singapore ranked at the bottom of our index with no wind turbines currently operating. This is because its typical 4.34m/s wind speeds generally aren’t enough to power commercial wind turbines.3

Instead, about 95% of the city’s electricity generation comes from natural gas, which is a less carbon-intensive alternative.4,5

2. Cameroon – 0.55/10

Cameroon residential landscape

Cameroon has an operating wind farm capacity of just 100MW, with sub-par 5.83m/s wind speeds.

The Central African country’s electricity generation primarily consists of biofuels, crude oil and natural gas.6

3. United Arab Emirates – 0.71/10

United Arab Emirates landscape with blue ocean

The United Arab Emirates currently lacks any wind turbines and has 6.91m/s wind speeds.

Being one of the biggest crude oil producers globally, the Middle Eastern nation’s domestic energy sources are predominantly from oil and natural gas.7,8

Is Australia energy efficient?

Wind turbine in front of blue sky and clouds

Australia ranked 14th in our wind efficient countries index, with 11,525MW of operating wind farm capacity and above average 8.01m/s typical wind speeds.

However, Australia’s electricity generation mix is mainly from coal-fired power stations, followed by natural gas, solar, wind and hydroelectric.9

With 35.9% of Australia’s energy coming from renewable sources in 2022, major projects are underway to further expand the share – particularly using solar, wind and battery storage – to meet emissions reduction targets set by federal and state governments.10,11

How to power your home with renewable energy

Compare the Market Australia’s Head of Energy, Meredith O’Brien, said switching to renewable energy can be one way to save money in the long-term.

“There are a range of ways for your home or business to be more sustainably powered –  including investing in solar panels, battery storage systems and even small wind turbines – which’ll pay off over time depending on your usage habits and system size,” Ms O’Brien said.

“Select electricity providers also offer plans with GreenPower accreditation by the federal government or carbon offset certificates for energy use.

“Some companies may apply an additional charge for these features. However, there are many offers available to customers that are competitively priced, so it pays to compare and save on essential electricity bills.”

Methodology & Sources

Data is accurate as of 22 February 2024.

We took a list of 64 countries to rank the most wind efficient countries based on two factors:

  • Current operating wind farm capacity – measured in megawatts (MW), according to the Global Energy Monitor
  • Typical wind speeds – measured in metres per second (m/s) at an elevation of 100 metres (the typical wind turbine height), according to the Global Wind Atlas

Both metrics were indexed with a score of between 0 to 10, with the latter representing a better score for wind efficiency. These were then averaged to create an equally weighted overall index score out of 10 (rounded to the nearest two decimal place).

This study did not account for wind energy utilisation efficiency.

Additional sources:

  1. Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit – Net Zero Scorecard
  2. Center for Sustainable Systems – Wind Energy Factsheet
  3. National Climate Change Secretariat Singapore (NCCS) – Singapore’s Approach To Alternative Energy
  4. CNA – CNA Explains: Singapore’s energy sources and the future of its electricity supply
  5. International Energy Agency (IEA) – Energy system of Singapore
  6. IEA – Energy system of Cameroon
  7. Worldometer – Oil Production by Country
  8. IEA – Energy system of the United Arab Emirates
  9. IEA – Energy system of Australia
  10. Clean Energy Council – Clean Energy Australia Report 2023
  11. Clean Energy Council – Clean Energy Projects Australia