Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, wind mills for mechanical power, wind pumps for pumping water or drainage, or sails to propel ships. At the end of 2009, worldwide nameplate capacity of wind-powered generators was 157.9 gigawatts (GW), which is about 1.5% of worldwide electricity usage; and is growing rapidly, having doubled in the three years between 2005 and 2008. Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power penetration (with large governmental subsidies), such as 19% of stationary electricity production in Denmark, 13% in Spain and Portugal, and 7% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland in 2008. As of May 2009, eighty countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.
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