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Wind leading the renewable energy charge -GWEC

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US offshore wind OffShoreWind.biz photo.

Wind Power leading the charge to drive out fossils

With over 500 GW installed worldwide, wind power has become the leading source of new power generation in Europe and in many countries around the world, according to a press release from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

In 2016 alone $112.5 billion were invested in wind power globally, and the industry now employs 1.2 million people, making it one of the fastest growing industrial segments in the world.

Wind power has become a major driver for a sustainable energy future, says the GWEC, and is already the least-cost option for new power capacity in rapidly increasing number of markets.

In 2016, un-subsidised new renewable power was cheaper than fossil fuels in over 30 countries, and by 2025 that will be the case in most countries around the world.

“We are on the road to a sustainable energy future. Wind and other renewables are already winning on the economics alone, but we need it happen faster if we are to have a reasonable chance of meeting the Paris climate targets,” said GWEC Secretary General Steve Sawyer.

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One of the most important remaining barriers for the uptake of wind, particularly in OECD markets, is generation overcapacity, and hence lack of demand for new power.

Old fossil fuel plants, long paid off, are kept running as long as the cost of the air, water pollution and CO2 emissions are free – a subsidy from the environment and future generations to fossil fuels, according to the GWEC.

This is in addition to the $US 500 billion or more that governments already pay out for direct subsidies to fossil fuel production and consumption annually.

Shutting down these old plants, as well as encouraging the rapid transition to electric vehicles, would help drive the demand necessary to keep the renewable energy industry thriving in established markets, with massive environmental, health, and economic benefits, according to Sawyer.

“Reaching 500GW globally is a landmark. Wind is now a core mainstream part of electricity systems in advanced economies. To deliver the economic benefits that will come from the further expansion and the next 500GW, we need to tackle the overcapacity of polluting and inefficient power plants,” said Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope.

“We also need to see an accelerated push for the electrification and decarbonisation of heating and transport. Wind has got to 10 per cent of Europe’s electricity. We need to contribute also to cleaner heating and transport.”

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1 Comment on "Wind leading the renewable energy charge -GWEC"

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  1. bob Knight says:

    Had to stop reading when I read the BS about a 500 Billion fossil fuel annual subsidy… please do NOT renew my membership

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