Wind power is a reliable source of renewable energy that is highly utilized in order to reduce humanity's dependence on fossil fuels. As technological means quickly develop, efficiency in onshore and offshore wind power increases.
The total wind power capacity increased by 60.4 GW in 2019 as a result of onshore wind farm projects and a record number of new offshore facilities.
Even so, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the current growth is still inadequate when it comes to addressing climate change and reaching the Paris Agreement targets. Those include keeping the world's average temperature below 2°C or even 1.5°C with respect to the pre-industrial levels.
“If we are to have any chance at reaching our Paris Agreement objectives and remaining on a 1.5°C pathway, we need to be installing at least 100GW of wind energy annually over the next decade, and this needs to rise to 200GW annually post-2030 and beyond,” Ben Backwell, CEO of GWEC, stated.
About 67% of the global wind farm projects are established in China and United States. Moreover, those 2 countries account for the majority of the new facilities. Nevertheless, more and more nations are investing in this source of renewable energy. "Established market players such as China and the US accounted for nearly 60 per cent of new installations, however, we see emerging markets in regions such as South East Asia, Latin America and Africa playing an increasingly important role in the years to come, while offshore wind is also becoming a significant growth driver," Backwell added.
The current trend is unlikely to remain the same in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus outburst that has affected most of the infrastructure projects globally. The actual impact of the pandemic in wind power projects has not been quantified yet, but it is certain that the 20% growth that experts anticipated is currently an unrealistic target. A new estimation of the annual growth will be derived in the second quarter of the year.
Nevertheless, officials from GWEC believe that the pandemic can be an opportunity for future wind farm projects as governments should invest in infrastructure in order to boost the economy. The development of renewable energy facilities would also be crucial to tackle the climate change issue. “We have an important window of opportunity. Major economies around the world are preparing stimulus packages. A well-designed stimulus package could offer economic benefits and facilitate a turnover of energy capital which have huge benefits for the clean energy transition,” Dr. Fatih Biro, head of International Energy Agency (IEA), said.