|Wind energy has the wind in its sails|
(14 November 2012) - Wind power generation could triple by 2020 even if its growth is likely to slow over the next few years, hit by cutbacks in the budget subsidies in the United States and Europe, according to a report published today by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace.
Wind power has now established itself as a mainstream electricity generation source, and plays a central role in an increasing number of countries’ longer term energy plans. After 15 years of average cumulative growth rates of about 28%, wind power installations in about 80 countries at the end of last year totalled about 240 GW, having increased by more than 40 times over that same period. Twenty two countries have more than 1,000 MW installed.
The fourth edition of the 'Global Wind Energy Outlook' shows that wind power could supply up to 12% of global electricity by 2020, creating 1.4 million new jobs and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 1.5 billion tons per year, more than 5 times today’s level. By 2030, wind power could provide more than 20% of global electricity supply.
Held back by a struggling world economy and the failure to create commercial conditions which stimulate more green investment, expected growth of wind power should nevertheless not accelerate again until after 2020.