Wind power could provide more than 20% of electricity by 2030

Posted on 21 November 2012

Power generated by wind turbines could supply a fifth of the world’s electricity demand by 2030, according to the fourth bi-annual report on the future of the wind industry compiled by Greenpeace International and the Global Wind Energy Council.

Wind power could supply up to 12% of global electricity by 2020, creating 1.4 million jobs and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1.5 billion tons per year, more than five-times today’s level, the report said.

Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council, said: “It is clear that wind energy is going to play a major role in our energy future.

“But for wind to reach its full potential, governments need to act quickly to address the climate crisis, while there’s still time.”

Wind industry could employ 2.1 million people globally by 2020, three times today’s level

Sven Teske, Greenpeace senior energy expert, added: “The most-important ingredient for the long-term success of the wind industry is stable, long-term policy, sending a clear signal to investors about the government’s vision for the scope and potential for the technology.

“The Global Wind Energy Outlook (GWEO) shows that the industry could employ 2.1 million people by 2020 – three times more than today, given the right policy support.”

Installed capacity from wind turbines reached 240 GW globally at the end of 2011 and the industry is set to grow by at least a further 40 GW in 2012, according to the study.

By 2020, the International Energy Agency’s New Policies Scenario suggests that total capacity would reach 587 GW, supplying about 6% of global electricity; but the GWEO Moderate scenario suggests that this could reach 759 GW, supplying 7.7-8.3% of global electricity supply.

The GWEO Advanced scenario suggests that with the right policy support wind power could reach more than 1,100 GW by 2020, supplying between 11.7-12.6% of global electricity, and saving nearly 1.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions.