Over the past few weeks I collected a series of news on how the European Union is going fast forward on climate change. One can expect emissions will keep on decreasing in the near future, and this albeit the fact they are already 23 percent below their 1990 levels.
Here is some research we might see one day off the coasts around the world : giant 50 MW offshore wind turbines, with blades as long as 200 meters (650 feet). That’s two and a half times longer than any existing wind turbine blade.
Here is another article on Cleantechies focusing on another success story, but this time a European one as clean energy sources are pursuing their rise. The energy transition is slowly taking place. Here is the introduction : ” According to official statistics from Eurobserv’ER, 23.4 percent of the electricity in the European Union came from … Read more
We have seen in the previous years that the United Kingdom has been investing heavily on wind energy. In 2013 the country started the world’s largest offshore wind farms such as the London Array. It seems these efforts are paying off as no less than ten percent of the electricity demand in the country was … Read more
The electricity mix of 2050 is getting a bit clearer. To the International Energy Agency analysts, wind power could be behind 18 percent of the global electricity mix by mid century. This has to be compared to a tiny 2.6 percent to date.
As the IEA notes : ” The nearly 300 gigawatts of current wind power worldwide must increase eight- to ten-fold to achieve the roadmap’s vision with the more than USD 78 billion in investment in 2012 progressively reaching USD 150 billion per year. “
A 2009 document from this agency forecast 12 percent of wind power by 2050. I wonder what the IEA will forecast in 2016… Several factors explain this important increase.
I almost never watch news on TV as I find them too depressing and too little focused on the topics that matter to me. So I prefer scanning a few newspapers, my Netvibes page and its many RSS feeds, and, of course, Twitter.
But my dear mom still watches the news and thus came across a short report on how the US State of Maine is investing on offshore wind. This took place just a few days after my own article on how the French Côte d’Opale should too.
To the University of Maine – which is currently testing a floating wind turbine – the State has an offshore wind capacity of no less than 156 GW. Quite an impressive figure.
A couple of weeks ago I went to Boulogne sur Mer and visited the marvellous Côte d’Opale. I had two great summer days between Boulogne and Calais and strongly recommend this little trip if you are looking for enchanting places.
A thing that struck me there is the quantity of wind there is almost all the time. If the Côte d’Azur could and should benefit from solar energies (photovoltaic, thermal, concentrated), the Côte d’Opale should tap into its huge wind energy potential.
There are to date only four wind turbines in the harbour of Boulogne sur Mer (see photo). No doubt there could be many more.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has published on its website a series on infographics and a great animation showing how wind energy is rapidly gaining pace and its capacity is booming.
In 2003, there were 185 wind farms online, powering the equivalent of 1.6 million homes ; in 2008, there were 416 wind farms online powering 6.5 million homes. In 2012 there were 815 wind farms online powering 15 million US homes.
Yes, you read that right : in ten years the capacity increased ten-fold. Since President Obama took office, the capacity has been multiplied by more than two.
For years if not decades, Deutschland has been at the forefront on energy efficiency and renewables. I wrote many articles here on how the country is leading on these crucial economic sectors.
It doubled the share of renewables in its electricity mix in only seven years. They now account for over 22 percent of the total. Solar PV accounts for a quarter of that.
In the wake of the tragic catastrophe and the nuclear incident that shook Japan in 2011, we have seen that the local government is willing to push renewable energy sources forward. Among them, solar energy and wind power.
This has led to the installation of 1,12 GW of solar PV capacity in only nine months (source). During this period over five gigawatts of clean energy capacity have been approved. This proves that the feed-in tariffs are a success.
Let’s just hope it won’t be the kind of success that will lead the government to step back (as it happened most unfortunately in France).
I noted in January that cleantech investments decreased by 11 percent in 2012 and that it wasn’t a problem as prices decreased. Here is a direct proof of that as global wind capacity increased by no less than 20 percent in 2012.
According to the latest report from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), 44.7 GW of wind capacity were installed last year, the total capacity reaching 282 Gigawatts. Both the United States and China installed roughly 13 gigawatts each.
This takes place as renewables are gradually becoming cheaper than fossil fuels, which are still the main energy sources, but ultimately won’t be anymore in a few decades.