Wind is booming. With or without the embattled production tax credit (PTC)—which is currently allowing American wind producers to compete with fossil fuels and expand their market share—wind power will be integral to the world's future energy mix. The IEA concluded as much in its big energy outlook report earlier this week, and now, here comes another vote of confidence:
The Global Wind Energy Council has just released a major forecast, and it predicts a few tough years ahead for the wind industry. But the longterm outlook is strong. In fact, the GWEC projects that in just under 10 years, wind could supply one tenth of the world's power. In 20, it could be twice that.Here's the Guardian:
The report, which looks at a number of different scenarios for the development of the industry and projected levels of electricity demand, predicts installed capacity could increase more than four-fold from 240GW at the end of last year to 1,100GW by 2020, supplying between 11.7 per cent and 12.6 per cent of global electricity, and saving nearly 1.7 billion tons of CO2 emissions.The report notes that under "less ambitious scenarios," we'll see up to 759 GW or 8.3% of global energy supply. The decade after that, however, given that clean energy is granted a "stable" policy environment, could see wind explode again, reaching 1,600GW or even 2,500GW of installed capacity by 2030.
And that, friends, would tip us far past the 20% mark, along the trajectory we need to establish to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The key to living that clean energy dream is that aforementioned stable policy environment. It means sustained clean energy subsidies, a price on carbon, or more drastic pollution regulation. And right now, here in the U.S., we've got none of the above.