Worldwide wind energy capacity installed in the first quarter of 2009 grew 23 percent compared to the same period last year, according to a report from the World Wind Energy Association on Tuesday.

New installed wind energy capacity totaled 5379 megawatts during the first three months of the year, the WWEA said based on figures from 11 of the top 15 countries representing 80 percent of the world market.

This figures confirm the status of wind energy as a stable, profitable and low-risk investment. Although some wind energy projects are postponed due to financing challenges, the overall market development can still compensate such delays showing great signs of vitality, the WWEA said in a statement today.

The WWEA kept its previous forecast of a total installed capacity of 152,000 MW of wind energy worldwide by the end of 2009, which will mean a market growth of 25 percent compared with last year. New installed capacity is forecasted to be 30,300 MW in 2009.

Impediment for the installation of wind projects in some regions is not because of the lack of financing but the imposition of new regulations and bureaucratic delays, the WWEA said.

The association is holding its 8th World Wind Energy Conference 2009 in Jeju Island, South Korea with the theme Wind power for islands – offshore and onshore.