Prepare for a wind energy century 1


Last week the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a report stating the United States could get twenty percent of their electricity by offshore wind by 2030.

On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, China installed 13,8 GW of capacity in 2009 alone, to reach a capacity of 25,8 GW. A report notes that the wind capacity could reach 250 GW by 2020. These are staggering figures.

Meanwhile, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) notes that this energy source could provide a fifth of global electricity by 2030. Let’s have a detailed look at each of these news.

Concerning the NREL report, CleanTechies notes :

The U.S. could generate 20 percent of its electricity from wind energy by 2030 if it develops offshore wind farms in the coastal waters of 26 states, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).

Developing the nation’s offshore wind potential would also create $200 billion in “new economic activity” and 43,000 jobs, according to the report.

For more, please download the executive summary of the report.

On China, we have to turn ourselves to Renewable Energy World :

‘China Wind Power Outlook 2010’ report expects China’s wind sector to hit at least 150 GW and possibly 230 GW over the next ten years.

(…) The report quantifies the potential contribution of China’s wind capacity by 2020 as equivalent to 13 times that of the country’s colossal Three Gorges Dam hydropower plant.

For more, please have a look at the full report.

Last but not least, the GWEC notes in its latest annual report :

Wind could meet 12% of global power demand by 2020, and up to 22% by 2030, according to a study published today by the Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace International.

The ‘Global Wind Energy Outlook 2010’ (GWEO 2010) finds that wind power could play a key role in satisfying the world’s increasing power demand, while at the same time achieving major greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

The 1,000 GW of wind power capacity projected to be installed by 2020 would save as much as 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 every year.

These reductions would represent 50-75% of the cumulative emissions reductions that industrialised countries committed to in their 2020 ‘Copenhagen pledges’. By 2030, a total of 34 billion tons of CO2; would be saved by 2,300 GW of wind power capacity.

Of course, since the last two reports come from special interests we should take these figures with caution.

But even if these staggering figures are only reached by mid-century, this still would mean than one single renewable energy source could provide us a fifth of the electricity we need on the global scale.

This would be comparable to the place taken today by both coal and natural gas. (around 20-25 percent)

This is a great ambitious goal !


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