Wind power tipped to supply 20% of world energy by 2030

By Kelly Emmerton ·

Dropping prices on renewable energies mean wind power is set to account for up to 20% of the world’s electricity supply by 2030, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

Commitments made at last year’s Paris Climate Summit mean nations around the world are focused on cutting carbon emissions. Solar and wind power are now quickly becoming attractive ways to do so, as prices decrease in many markets. Wind power in particular is quickly gaining popularity in emerging nations.

“Now that the Paris Agreement is coming into force, countries need to get serious about what they committed to last December,” said Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General.

“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 GWEC outlined four scenarios to predict the future of wind power in 2020, 2030 and 2050.

The Advanced scenario — which assumes total commitment to meeting renewable energy goals — shows a global investment in wind power of AUD $285 billion, reaching a wind capacity of up to 2,110 GW by 2030 and supplying up to 20% of the world’s electricity. It would reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by more than 3.3 billion tonnes, and also create 2.4 million new jobs.

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But this scenario is optimistic, and Sawyer added that it wasn’t an easy goal to meet.

“Wind power is the most competitive option for adding new capacity to the grid in a growing number of markets,” he said.

“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, and governments will have to get serious about it if they are to live up to the commitments to which they have now bound themselves.”

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