The Climate Answer Is Blowing In The Wind

According to a recent article from UK energy forecasters — Rethink Energy — 2021 annual installations of global wind capacity (both onshore and offshore) of 93 gigawatts (GW) puts the world on track with the targets defined by GWEC to reach the renewable energy capacity levels required to limit climate change to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Looks like the answer is blowing in the wind.

Activity across both onshore and offshore segments saw global wind power capacity rising to 836 GW, with 39% of this sitting in China’s territory — 2.5 times more than its nearest competitor, the USA. This means that wind power now accounts for 11% of global power generation capacity (in GW), with total generation (in GWh) growing 5-fold to now account for 8% of overall supply.

This compares well with Rethink Energy’s recent forecast of 1000 GW of installed wind capacity before 2025. See graph at the top of this article, or see Rethink Energy’s complete graph here.

Although there has been a surge in Chinese offshore installations, other countries are racing into the market — including the USA and Japan. Overall, China accounted for a leading 51% share of global wind additions, followed by the USA (15%), Brazil (4%), Sweden (2%), and Turkey (2%). European nations accounted for just 18% in their entirety.

It is encouraging to see the USA moving strongly into the installation of both onshore and offshore wind. Expect great things in the not too distant future.

Accounting for 36% of the country’s new capacity, China managed to install more offshore wind capacity in one year than the rest of the world has in the past five years combined. Bringing China to 27 GW of offshore wind capacity in total, it has now blown the UK’s market lead out of the water — with the UK sitting on just 11 GW.

The wind industry has not grown as consistently as solar due to more dependence on government-related planning restrictions, as well as prices for commodities such as steel.

Rethink Energy predicts that offshore wind alone will reach 1000 GW by 2045. Here’s hoping that we achieve that milestone earlier as we push to keep global warming down to 1.5 degrees Celsius.


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