Wind power could reach 2,000 GW by 2030 and supply up to 17%-19% of global electricity, according to a report by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace International.
In fact, the study shows that wind power could provide 25%-30% of global electricity supply by 2050.
The new report, “Global Wind Energy Outlook 2014,” presents three visions of the future of the global wind energy industry out to 2020, 2030 and up to 2050. The scenarios compare the International Energy Agency’s central scenario from its World Energy Outlook with a “moderate” and “advanced” scenario developed especially for this report, detailing how the global wind industry might deliver in terms of global electricity supply, CO2 emission savings, employment, cost reductions and investment.
“Wind power has become the least-cost option when adding new capacity to the grid in an increasing number of markets, and prices continue to fall,” explains Steve Sawyer, CEO at GWEC. “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.”
The report notes that the power sector is responsible for more than 40% of all carbon-dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels and about 25% of total greenhouse-gas emissions.
If global emissions are to peak and decline in this decade – as the science shows is necessary in order to meet climate protection goals – one focus has to be the power sector, notes GWEC.
Wind power’s scalability and its speed of deployment makes it an ideal technology to bring about the early emissions reductions which are required if we are to keep the window open for maintaining global mean temperature rise at 2° C or less above pre-industrial levels.
“By 2020, wind power could prevent more than 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted each year by dirty energy – equivalent to the emissions of Germany and Italy combined,” says Sven Teske, Greenpeace senior energy expert. “Policymakers need to provide economic incentives and also leadership if they are to achieve a credible international climate agreement at next year’s summit in Paris.”
According to GWEC, global wind energy installations totaled 318 GW at the end of last year. An additional 45 GW is expected by the end of this year, notes GWEC.