Wind Could Supply 20% of Global Energy Needs

Wind Could Supply 20% of Global Energy NeedsWind Could Supply 20% of Global Energy Needs

Installed wind power capacity could swell by 530 percent to 2,000 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, supplying up to 19 percent of global electricity, a report from a trade association and Greenpeace said.

The report entitled Global Wind Energy Outlook (GWEO) 2014 said installed wind energy capacity totaled 318 GW at the end of last year worldwide and provided around 3 percent of global electricity supply. Capacity is set to grow by another 45 GW to 363 GW this year. In some parts of the world, particularly in Europe, people have objected to wind power due to government subsidies which they claim have contributed towards rising energy bills, TradeArabia reported.

The GWEC, which represents 1,500 wind power producers, looked at the future of the wind energy industry to 2020, 2030 and 2050 under three scenarios based on existing and future emissions reduction and renewable energy policies.

Based on International Energy Agency forecasts, it said cumulative installed wind energy capacity could reach 611 GW by 2020 and 964 GW by 2030.

Under the report's "moderate" scenario, based on existing renewable energy policies and assuming that emissions reductions agreed next year in Paris under a global climate deal will be modest, installed wind capacity could reach 712 GW by 2020, nearly 1,500 GW by 2030 and around 2,670 GW by mid-century.

That means wind energy could meet 7-8 percent of global electricity demand by 2020, 13-15 percent by 2030 and 17-20 percent by 2050.

Under the "advanced" scenario, based on more ambitious growth rates and assuming that a robust global climate deal is in place, installed capacity could reach 800 GW by 2020, nearly 2,000 GW by 2030 and over 4,000 by 2050. That means wind energy could provide 8-9 percent of global electricity supply by 2020, 17-19 percent by 2030 and 26-31 percent by mid-century.

"Given the urgency to cut down CO2 emissions and continued reliance on imported fossil fuels, wind power's pivotal role in the world's future energy supply is assured," Sawyer said.

The report identified Brazil, Mexico and South Africa as areas for new growth in wind energy. Brazil is set to install nearly 4 GW this year alone, while Mexico should add around 2 GW a year for the next 10 years.