Wind could supply 20 % of global electricity by 2030, according to a report presented by the Global Wind Energy Council last week in China.
The study says that by 2030 wind power could reach 2,110 GW, create 2.4 million new jobs and attract annual investment of about EUR 200 billion.
The report looked at four options with the horizons of 2020, 2030 and 2050. The first option considers the New Policies Scenario of the International Energy Agency, which is based on the intentions of national and international energy and climate policies. The second considers the IEA pathway with a 50% chance of limiting global warming to 2°C, which corresponds to 450 parts per million of carbon-dioxide equivalent in the atmosphere. The third and fourth are a moderate and advanced scenarios respectively based and the Global Wind Energy Council forecasts, which include industry orders and plans. Global demand has also been taken into consideration.
Results show that the share of wind power in global electricity demand will be between 11 and 18 % by 2030 and between 18 and 36 % by 2050. In all scenarios, costs are expected to decrease significantly and China, Western Europe and North America will be the largest markets, albeit important differences. India and Latin America are predicted to play a major role in the most advanced scenarios.
A major driver for the future development of the sector is the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change, approved last December in Paris and now being ratified by countries around the world.
“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, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council. “Wind power is the most competitive option for adding new capacity to the grid in a growing number of markets.”
Global wind energy installations reached 433 GW at the end of 2015 and the industry is set to grow by some 60 GW in 2016. Last year almost EUR 110 billion was invested in new wind power development, of which almost EUR 67 billion were in developing and emerging economies.