Despite economic troubles, green industries remain strong

There was a 21 percent increase in globally installed wind power capacity in 2011.

The global economy may not be exactly thriving right now, but investing in green energy has clearly remained a worldwide priority. For instance, a study released on Wednesday by research group Next 10 showed that while Californian jobs grew by 12 percent between 1995 to 2010, green careers in the Golden State expanded by 53 percent in that time frame.

Specifically, the world has been paying more attention to renewable wind energy sources in recent years as well. In its annual wind power market statistics report that was released this week, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) revealed that there was a 21 percent increase in installed wind power capacity in 2011. Currently, 75 countries have commercial wind power installations.

"We look forward to more new markets opening up in Africa, Asia and Latin America in 2012 and we expect to see some of the new markets in Latin America beyond Brazil start to approach critical mass," GWEC Secretary General Steve Sawyer said in a press release. "But, at the end of the day we will be hard pressed to keep the industry’s growth up to its potential without a global price on carbon and other measures to account for the real costs to society of conventional power generation."

Today, British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey will open the world's largest offshore wind farm off the coast of Cumbria. With more than 100 turbines, the farm will be able to generate enough energy to power 320,000 homes annually.

The $1.58 billion investment is the first of many to come for Britain, which currently has 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of installed offshore wind power, Reuters reports. The nation plans to increase that capacity to 18 GW by 2020.

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