Global Wind Energy Outlook

Publication - September 20, 2006
One third of the world’s electricity can be supplied by wind; 113 billion tonnes of CO2 saved by 2050

The UK's first wind farm in the Irish Sea which will supply 50,000 homes with power.

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Executive summary: The global market for wind power has been expanding faster than any other source of renewable energy. From just 4,800 MW in 1995 the world total has multiplied more than twelve-fold to reach over 59,000 MW at the end of 2005.

The international market is expected to have an annual turnover in 2006 of more than € 13 billion, with an estimated 150,000 people employed around the world. The success of the industry has attracted investors from the mainstream finance and traditional energy sectors.In a number of countries the proportion of electricity generated by wind power is now challenging conventional fuels.

The Global Wind Energy Outlook 2006 reports that over a third of the world’s electricity – crucially including that required by industry – can realistically be supplied by wind energy by the middle of the century. The report provides an industry blueprint that explains how wind power could supply 34% of the world’s electricity by 2050. Most importantly, it concludes that if wind turbine capacity implemented on this scale it would save 113 billion tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere by 2050. This places wind power as one of the world’s most important energy sources for the 21st century.

The ‘Global Wind Energy Outlook 2006’ runs three different scenarios for wind power – a Reference scenario based on figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA); a Moderate version which assumes that current targets for renewable energy are successful; and an advanced version assuming that all policy options in favour of renewables have been adopted. These are then set against two scenarios for global energy demand. Under the Reference scenario, growth in demand is again based on IEA projections; under the High Energy Efficiency version, a range of energy efficiency measures result in a substantial reduction in demand.

Num. pages: 60