Wind could provide fifth of global power

10 November 2016

Wind power could supply 20% of global electricity by 2030, according a report.

The Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC) biennial Global Wind Energy Outlook said that by 2030 wind could generate up to 2,110GW of power and supply up to 20% of global electricity.

The technology could create 2.4m new jobs, reduce CO2 emissions by more than 3.3bn tonnes per year and attract annual investment of about €200bn.

“Now that the Paris [climate change] Agreement is coming into force, countries need to get serious about what they committed to last December,” said GWEC secretary general Steve Sawyer.

“Meeting the Paris targets means a completely decarbonised electricity supply well before 2050, and wind power will play the major role in getting us there.”

Sawyer said dramatic price decreases in recent years for wind power, as well as solar and other renewable sources of energy, meant a decarbonised power sector was economically competitive. 

Wind power was the most competitive option for adding new capacity to the grid in a growing number of markets.

“If the Paris agreement targets are to be reached, that means closing fossil fuel fired power plants and replacing them with wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass,” Sawyer said. “That will be the hard part, and governments will have to get serious about it if they are to live up to the commitments to which they have now bound themselves.”

Sawyer said a major part of decarbonisation would include the transport sector, and the market for electric vehicles and public transport would grow significantly.

Wind energy installations worldwide generated 433GW by the end of 2015 and were set to grow by another 60GW in 2016.

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