Global wind power capacity could reach 2,000 gigawatts by 2030, significantly reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) by more than 3 billion tonnes a year, creating millions of jobs and supplying up to 19% of global electricity, according to a new report.
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According to the Global Wind Energy Outlook, by green group Greenpeace International and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), wind energy could provide between 17-19% of global electricity by 2030 and 25-30% by 2050.
The report reached these figures by putting together three different scenarios for 2020, 2030 and 2050, with different criteria over wind power development drawn from the International Energy Agency’s data.
Steve Sawyer, CEO of GWEC said, “Wind power has become the least-cost option when adding new capacity to the grid in an increasing number of markets, and prices continue to fall. Given the urgency to cut down CO2 emissions and continued reliance on imported fossil fuels, wind power’s pivotal role in the world’s future energy supply is assured”.
The report estimates that by growing wind energy capacity, 2 million jobs could be created, while billions of tonnes of CO2 are prevented from entering the atmosphere.
Sven Teske, Greenpeace International senior energy expert added, “By 2020, wind power could prevent more than 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted each year by dirty energy – equivalent to the emissions of Germany and Italy combined.
“Policymakers need to provide economic incentives, and also leadership if they are to achieve a credible international climate agreement at next year’s Summit in Paris”.
A leaked report recently revealed that onshore wind power is already the cheapest source of electricity in Europe, once ‘external costs’, such as the health costs of fossil fuel pollution, are taken into account.
Photo: Axel Bruns via flickr