Global wind industry reaches one terawatt milestone in June

The wind industry is today (15th June) celebrating the sector passing the landmark figure of one terawatt of global installed capacity.
Global wind industry reaches one terawatt milestone in June
Courtesy of NREL.

It has taken more than forty years to reach the 1TW milestone, although with the wind industry continually gaining momentum, the next TW will take less than 7 years to install, according to data from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), which is organising a series of events to mark the achievement.

This capacity milestone pulls into focus the fundamental role wind energy is playing in decarbonising the global power system and helping the world reach its climate and energy goals.

According to GWEC’s data, recently completed wind power projects in China, the USA, Morocco and Europe have pushed the capacity across the 1TW threshold as the industry delivers on the ever-growing ambitions of governments around the world. The spread and diversity of these projects highlights the global reach of modern wind technology, which has developed rapidly in the last forty years from the early innovative designs developed in family back gardens by pioneers and visionaries like Henrik Stiesdal, who established the basis for the modern wind turbine - known as “the Danish Concept”, in the late 1970s.

“This is an enormous moment for the wind industry, but it is also a moment to celebrate for the whole world - this landmark achievement shows the path to a clean energy future is here” said Ben Backwell, CEO of the Global Wind Energy Council. “Renewable energy must be at the centre of our collective drive to net-zero, with wind energy - along with solar PV and other renewable energy technologies -  the foundation on which our new energy system is being built. The stories of early wind pioneers have inspired a generation of innovators to turn these early ideas into a pillar of the world’s energy system - enabling new clean industries and creating millions of clean jobs all over the world. It is also time to recognise a new generation of pioneers that are already driving the next era of wind energy. Building to 2TW by 2030, and eventually to 8TW by 2050, will require unprecedented collaboration and cooperation across the world, and the creation of a huge and diverse new workforce. At GWEC we are looking forward to working with governments, companies and communities around the world to make this vision a reality.”

Jonathan Cole, speaking as he was appointed GWEC’s new Chairman, said that the historic milestone of 1 Terawatt of wind power installed globally will soon be reached, but that while this is an immense achievement, it still represents only a small portion of what we must build in the coming years in order to decarbonise our planet.

“To avert a climate catastrophe with devastating impacts on communities and ecosystems everywhere, we must rapidly transform our economies, scaling up wind capacity to reach at least 8 Terawatts by mid-century” Mr Cole said. “There is no time and no need to delay. In all scenarios, investing in wind energy will deliver clean, reliable, affordable power, boosting security of supply and price stability and creating sustainable jobs. In order to achieve these benefits, the private and public sectors must come together to accelerate investment and clear the path for delivery.”

For additional information:

Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC)

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