Oct 19, 2016

    Wind could power 20% of world's electricity by 2030


    WIND power could supply as much as 20 per cent of the world's total electricity by 2030 due to dramatic cost reductions and pledges to curb climate change, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said in a report released in Beijing yesterday.

    If last year's Paris climate accord leads to a worldwide commitment to the decarbonisation of the electricity sector, total wind power capacity could reach as much as 2,110 gigawatts (GW) by then, nearly five times its current level, the industry group said.

    Such an increase in capacity would involve annual investment of 200 billion euros (S$305 billion) and would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 3.3 billion tonnes per year, it added.

    The group said total global wind power installations stood at 433 GW by the end of last year, up 17 per cent from a year earlier, and are set to rise by around 60 GW in 2016.

    Much of the increase was driven by China, which accounted for 145.4 GW at the end of 2015, 33.6 per cent of the total.

    The country built 30.8 GW of new wind power capacity over the year, the highest annual addition by any nation, the wind council noted.

    But the pace of capacity additions could fall in 2016, with China still struggling to find enough transmission capacity to take on the huge numbers of new turbines being built.

    China's energy regulator said in July that 21 per cent of all wind-generated electricity was wasted in the first half of the year, due also to slowing demand growth as well as the completion of new coal-fired power plants, which made it harder for wind projects to access the grid.

    The wind council said the situation was likely to improve over the medium term as regulators work to solve the transmission bottlenecks.