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Wind Could Account For 1/5th of World’s Power By 2030

October 12, 2010

Wind power could provide more than one-fifth of the world’s energy supply within the next two decades, according to a new study presented by Greenpeace International and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) on Tuesday.

The Global Wind Energy Outlook 2010 or GWEO 2010 report suggests that wind energy could meet as much as 12-percent of the global power demand by 2020, while “achieving major greenhouse gas emissions reductions” in the process, the GWEC said in a statement posted to their website.

Currently, wind turbines account for just a little over 2-percent of the world’s electricity usage. However, if those numbers increase, annual levels of CO2 emissions could be reduced by more than 1.5 billion metric tons, or 5000-percent of the amount industrialized nations have vowed to eliminate as part of the 2020 Copenhagen Pledge.

GWEC Secretary General Steve Sawyer, who presented the organizations’ findings during a conference in Beijing, China on Tuesday, said, “Wind power can make a massive contribution to global electricity production and to decarbonizing the power sector, but we need political commitment to make this happen. Wind power technology provides governments with a viable option for truly tackling the challenges of our time and for being part of the energy revolution our planet needs.”

According to Greenpeace International Senior Energy Expert Sven Teske, this year 600,000 wind industry workers successfully installed one new turbine every half-hour, and one-third of those were installed in China. Teske says that, ultimately, he would like to see a new wind turbine built every seven minutes, which GWEC says would result in the addition of 3 million new jobs by 2030.

However, that could be limited by grid issues, and development in countries like the United States has been slowed due to economic issues, Reuters Environmental Correspondent Alister Doyle notes. Teske told Doyle that his group is still “optimistic” about the future of wind power, but noted that these types of issues are “becoming more and more important for the wind industry.”

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