Wind share in 2030 could be 11% or 20%, all depends on policy

Wind power share of global electricity demand. Source: The GLOBAL WIND ENERGY OUTLOOK | 2016 (www.gwec.net).

October 18 (SeeNews) - In 2030 wind power’s share in global electricity demand could climb to 11%-12% or rise as high as 20% under several scenarios examined by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

Wind capacity is seen to at least triple from 432.7 GW in 2015 to 1,260 GW by 2030. It is also possible to hit 2,110 GW by that same year in the most optimistic scenario, GWEC’s Advanced Scenario, where there is a strong international political commitment towards meeting climate goals and national energy policy is driven by the need for enhanced energy security, price stability, job creation and freshwater conservation.

Under the IEA New Policies Scenario (NSP) the global wind market returns to 2014 levels in 2016 and then decreases and stabilises at the 2010 market level after 2020, only growing very slightly from that level out to 2030. The IEA 450 Scenario also sees the market returning to 2014 levels in 2016, dipping to 2012 levels by 2018 and then recovering to 2014 levels by the end of the decade, reaching 2015 levels again in 2022/12.

GWEC’s Moderate Scenario reflects a world which carries on more or less the way it has for the past decade, with wind power continuing to gain ground  but still struggling against heavily subsidised incumbents; without a comprehensive or cohesive carbon market, and with those that exist at very low prices. Policy instability decreases, but is still a factor, although the competition in OECD markets for a larger share of a stable or dwindling pie is intense.

The table below contains more figures from the scenarios in the Global Wind Energy Outlook, released today. The wind power share projections vary based on two different demand forecasts.

Scenario 2015 2020 2030 2050
NSP: capacity (GW) 432.7 639.5 1,260 2,870
NSP: share of demand (%) 4 7 11-12 18-20
NSP: investment/yr (EUR billion) 100 58 121 113
450: capacity (GW) 432.7 658 1,454 3,546
450: share of demand (%) 4 7 13-14 22-25
450: investment/yr
(EUR billion)
100 85 163 173
Moderate: capacity (GW) 432.7 797 1,676 3,984
Moderate: share of demand (%) 4 8-9 14-16 25-28
Moderate: investment/yr
(EUR billion)
100 120 155 167
Advanced: capacity (GW) 432.7 879.4 2,110 5,806
Advanced: share of demand (%) 4 9 18-20 36-41
Advanced: investment/yr
(EUR billion)
100 150 199 275

“Wind power is the most competitive option for adding new capacity to the grid in a growing number of markets, but if the Paris agreement targets are to be reached, that means closing fossil fuel fired power plants and replacing them with wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass,” said Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General. “That will be the hard part, and governments will have to get serious about it if they are to live up to the commitments to which they have now bound themselves.”

Today, the global wind industry is present in more than 80 countries, of which 28 countries have more than 1 GW installed. Nine countries have more than 10 GW installed, with China, the USA, and Germany being the top three wind markets with installed capacities of 145.4 GW, 74.5 GW and 44.95 GW, respectively.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for seven years now. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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