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07.11.2019

IRENA HAS FORECASTED THE DEVELOPMENT OF GLOBAL WIND ENERGY BY 2050

The latest research on global energy transformation analysis “Future of wind: Deployment, investment, technology, grid integration and socio – economic aspects” was published by International Renewable Energy Agency.

Paper focused on such topics: energy transformation pathways and wind energy, the evolution and future of wind market, the evolution and future of wind markets, technological solutions and innovations to integrate rising shares of wind power generation, supply side and market expansion, socio – economic and other benefits of wind energy in the context of energy transformation and accelerating wind power deployment: existing barriers and solutions.

IRENA has explored two energy development pathways to the years 2050. The first is an energy pathway set by current and planned policies (Reference Case). The second is a cleaner climate-resilient pathway based largely on more ambitious, yet achievable, uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, which limits the rise in global temperature to well below 2 degrees and closer to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels and is aligned within the envelope of scenarios presented in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C.

According to these two pathways, we present you the main IRENA key findings:

1. Accelerating deployment of renewables, combined with deep electrification and increased energy efficiency, can achieve over 90% of the energy – related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction needed (nearly 6.3 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (Gt CO2) annually) by 2050.

2. Wind power, along with solar energy, would lead the way for the transformation of the global electricity sector. Onshore and offshore wind would generate more than one-third (35%) of total electricity needs, becoming the prominent generation source by 2050.

3. Such a transformation is only possible by greatly scaling up wind capacity installations in the next three decades. This entails increasing the global cumulative installed capacity of onshore wind power more than threefold by 2030 (to 1 787 gigawatts (GW)) and nine-fold by 2050 (to 5 044 GW) compared to installed capacity in 2018 (542 GW). For offshore wind power, the global cumulative installed capacity would increase almost ten-fold by 2030 (to 228 GW) and substantially towards 2050, with total offshore installation nearing 1 000 GW by 2050.

4. Annual capacity additions for onshore wind would increase more than four-fold, to more than 200 GW per year in the next 20 years, compared to 45 GW added in 2018. Even higher growth would be required in annual offshore wind capacity additions.

5. At a regional level, Asia (mostly China) would largely drive the pace of wind capacity installations, becoming the world leader in wind energy with more than 50% of global installations by 2050.

6. Scaling up wind energy investments is key to accelerating the growth of global wind power installations over the coming decades (for onshore: more than two-fold from now until 2030 (USD 146 billion/year) and more than three-fold over the remaining period to 2050 (USD 211 billion/year; for offshore: until 2030 (USD 61 billion/year) and more than five-fold over the remaining period to 2050 (USD 100 billion/year).

7. Globally, the total installation cost of onshore wind projects would continue to decline in the next three decades with the average cost falling in the range of USD 800 to 1 350 per kilowatt (kW) by 2030 and USD 650 to 1 000/ kW by 2050.

8. Technological developments in wind turbine foundations are a key factor enabling the accelerated deployment of offshore wind, permitting access to better wind resources.

All in all, the growth in wind power deployments would be needed in the next three decades to achieve the Paris climate goals.

More information you can find in IRENA paper that was attached to the publication.