NEW YORK: Global wind power installations are estimated to more than double in the next five years according to a new study, which also spotlights the record global wind growth in 2015, led by China and Germany.
The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) released its annual publication, the Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update this week. It shows that global wind power installations are expected to double over the next half-decade, with prices continuing to decrease as renewable energy becomes a priority for many countries, especially in the wake of the Paris Agreement’s 2020 emission reduction goals.
As well as looking forward, the report also analyzes the past year's wind sector growth. China continued to lead the way in 2015, installing 30.8 GW of capacity to increase to a total of 145 GW. The country’s installation of 30.8 GW was more than the entire wind power industry installed in 2008, the report notes.
The GWEC projects Asia to reach around 792 GW in the next five years, making the country the present leader by a significant margin. Beyond Asia, 2015 proved to be a record-breaking year for wind energy generation, with the Europe and US markets also performing better than anticipated.
Germany led the way by adding 6 GW of installations, Europe's offshore sector set a new record by installing more than 3 GW, and the US accounted for 8.6 GW. In addition to the strides by Asia, Europe and the US, Africa and Latin America also continue to see rising wind capacity.
The report highlights that as long as countries stick to their climate goals as outlined in the Paris Agreement, wind energy should exceed gas and other traditional energy forms by 2030. This would have a positive impact on global economies, particularly in the US, where a surge of new jobs would be generated in the industry.
A record number of political leaders signed the Agreement at a high-level ceremony earlier this month. The fact top polluters, US, China and the EU have signed demonstrates the unprecedented global support for the Agreement's early entry into force.
GWEC Secretary General, Steve Sawyer, said in a statement: “The Paris Agreement requires a fully decarbonized power system by 2050 if not before, if we are keeping temperatures below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. We have to turn things around very quickly.”
“Wind power is now mainstream, supplying competitive, reliable and clean energy to fuel economic growth, and to cut emissions in established economies, while at the same time creating new jobs, new industries, and enhancing energy security."
A separate report from IRENA last month pointed out that doubling today’s share of renewable energy through wind power and other sources would not only help the world meet its global climate goals, but also help avoid up to 12 gigatons of CO2, create more than 24 million jobs, save 4 million lives a year and boost global GDP up to US$1.3 trillion.
To help accelerate the transition to cleaner energy such as wind, The Climate Group's RE100 campaign in partnership with CDP, is supporting major companies in their journeys to going 100% renewable.
“Many companies are switching to renewable power at a remarkable rate, and encouraging their suppliers and customers to do the same,” says Emily Farnworth, RE100 campaign director at The Climate Group.
“Our analysis of the private sector’s electricity consumption and carbon emissions indicated that a switch to power from renewable sources could cut global CO2 by nearly 15%. By acting together, the world’s leading companies are creating a thriving renewable energy market that will help keep a global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.”