The wind power story gets better and better, with more and more capacity being installed around the world, costs continuing to fall and larger more efficient and powerful turbines being developed. GE claims that a single spin of its giant 13 MW Haliade-X turbine could power a typical home for two days. And a new wind analysis raises power density estimates- there’s more power available from wind turbines than we thought for both on shore and offshore machines. The DNV GL consultancy says the installed capacity of offshore floating wind globally will soar from its current 100 MW to as much as 250 GW by mid-century, supplying 2% of global power, with costs falling by around 70% by 2050, dropping to a global average of €40 per MWh. Meantime, standard on and off shore wind will also be booming. PV solar is also doing well and it may soon overtake wind in capacity terms in many locations. For example, S&P look to their being 96.8 GW of PV projects in train in the US for 2024. And in some scenarios, PV begins to lead wind globally in capacity terms by 2040: for example Wood Mackanzie’s Total Eclipse report has PV at 2.6 TW by then, wind at only 1.4 TW. Clearly Wind and PV solar have become the winners in the energy race, and that has changed perceptions of what may be possible in future. The influential US journal Foreign Policy said ‘Our Amazing Clean Energy Future Has Arrived- the evidence of a great green wave is now overwhelming. And it will only get better’. Certainly, optimism does seem justified. With costs falling, wind and solar capacity will build up and some of the newer renewables may well follow their lead, so that we can develop a globally sustainable energy system.
Renew Extra 6th Feb 2021 read more »