The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) released its biennial Global Wind Energy Outlook last week, outlining scenarios where wind could supply 20 per cent of global electricity by 2030. The report looks at four scenarios exploring the future of the wind industry out to 2020, 2030 and 2050.
“Now that the Paris Agreement is coming into force, countries need to get serious about what they committed to last December. 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,” GWEC Secretary General, Steve Sawyer said.
By 2030 wind power could reach 2,110 GW, and supply up to 20 per cent of global electricity, creating 2.4 million new jobs and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 3.3 billion tonnes per year, and attract annual investment of about €200 billion.
With dramatic price decreases in recent years for wind, solar and other renewables, a decarbonised power sector is not only technically feasible, but is economically competitive as well. New markets are developing rapidly across Africa, Asia and Latin America, supplying clean energy to support sustainable development.
“Wind power is the most competitive option for adding new capacity to the grid in a growing number of markets, but 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. 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.
“Decarbonising the global energy system includes the transport sector as a major emitter of carbon. The market for electric mobility, both in regard to electric vehicles as well as public transport, will continue to grow significantly and with this electricity demand for the transport sector.
Wind power is in a pole position to supply this future power demand making the wind industry one of the key industries of the energy sector”, said the report’s lead analyst, Dr Sven Teske, Research Principal for the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney.