Wind could supply 20% of global power by 2030: GWEC

Wind power is gearing up to be the main engine for the global power sector's growth, with expectations it will supply as much as 20% of world's electricity by 2030, according to the latest forecast from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

Installed capacity could reach 2,110GW by 2030, say the authors of the Global Wind Energy Outlook(GWEO), in the process creating 2.4 million new jobs, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 3.3 billion tonnes per year, and attracting annual investment of about €200bn ($220bn). 

"Now that the Paris Agreement is coming into force, countries need to get serious about what they committed to last December," states GWEC secretary general Steve Sawyer.

"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."

The dramatic price decreases seen in recent years for wind, solar and other renewables, mean a decarbonised power sector is "not only technically feasible, but is economically competitive", notes GWEO lead author Sven Teske, research principal for the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney.

"Wind power is the most competitive option for adding new capacity to the grid in a growing number of markets," says Sawyer, pointing to new markets emerging rapidly across Africa, Asia and Latin America that are supplying clean energy to support sustainable development.

"But if the Paris agreement targets are to be reached, that means closing fossil fuel-fired power plants and replacing them with wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass.

"That will be the hard part if [the world's governments] are to live up to the commitments to which they have now bound themselves [via the Paris Agreement]."

Teske adds: "Wind power is in a pole position to supply this future power demand making the wind industry one of the key industries of the energy sector."

Global wind energy installations totalled 433GW by the end of 2015, with the industry set to grow by another 60GW this year.