The Global Wind Energy Council released its biennial Global Wind Energy Outlook today, outlining scenarios where wind could supply 20% of global electricity by 2030. The report looks at four scenarios exploring the future of the wind industry out to 2020, 2030 and 2050.
Global wind energy installations totalled 433 GW as of the end of 2015, and the industry is set to grow by another 60 GW in 2016.
“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,” said Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General.
By 2030 wind power could reach 2,110 GW, and supply up to 20% 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 decarbonized 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,” continued Sawyer, “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.”
“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.
The new report examines the International Energy Agency’s central scenario from its World Energy Outlook, the New Policies Scenario, and is compared with the IEA’s 450 Scenario, the GWEC Moderate Scenario and the GWEC Advanced Scenario. The results show how the global wind industry will deliver in terms of global electricity supply, CO2 emissions savings, employment, cost reductions, and investment. These four supply-side scenarios are then compared with two different scenarios for the development of electricity demand.