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Global Wind Capacity Up 12.4 Percent in 2013

LONDON (Reuters) - Global installed wind power capacity increased by 12.4 percent to more than 318 gigawatts in 2013 led by China and Canada, industry figures showed on Wednesday.

Capacity rose from around 283 GW at the end of 2012, data from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) showed.

However, installations slowed in 2013 to about 35.5 GW, almost 10 GW less than a year earlier mostly on a drop in the United States.

"Outside of Europe and the U.S., the global market grew modestly last year, led by China and an exceptionally strong year in Canada," GWEC Secretary General Steve Sawyer said in a statement.

"China is a growth market again which is good news for the industry. The government's commitment to wind power has been reinforced once again by raising the official target for 2020 to 200 GW, and the industry has responded."

China's installed wind capacity was 91.4 GW at the end of 2013, up from 75.3 GW at the end of 2012.

Some 16 GW of new capacity was added in 2013, the largest amount anywhere in the world.

Canada installed 1.6 GW of new capacity, more than the United States.

Emerging markets also showed a steady stream of installations in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the data showed, while Europe's growth was more sluggish.

Europe's installed wind capacity rose to almost 121.5 GW from nearly 110 GW.

"The main challenge is stabilizing the European markets, both onshore and offshore, which have been rocked by political dithering over the past few years," Sawyer said.

Regarding 2014, the GWEC said it was optimistic that new installations would increase and possibly surpass 2012 levels.

(Reporting by Nina Chestney; editing by Jason Neely)

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