Story Credit: Terence West |EnergyPortal.eu| A major milestone has been reached in the global clean energy sector. In June, the capacity of global installed wind power reached 1 terawatt, surpassing expectations by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). This achievement, which was 40 years in the making, is a significant step towards a clean energy future.
The journey towards this milestone began in the late 1970s when Danish engineers, such as Henrik Stiesdal, laid the groundwork for modern wind turbines with their designs known as “The Danish Concept.” Today, this foundation serves as the basis of the global wind industry.
Wind energy has seen steady growth over the decades and currently accounts for over 6% of global electricity. Completing wind power projects in China, the U.S., Europe, and Morocco has played a vital role in pushing the capacity past the 1 terawatt threshold.
With global energy consumption exceeding 17 terawatts, this achievement demonstrates the potential of wind power. A single terawatt has the capacity to generate more than one-third of the energy required to power the entire United States.
This milestone bears great significance for both individuals and the environment. Burning dirty energy sources to create everyday energy results in nearly 40% of harmful, planet-warming pollution, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Wind energy contributes to the decarbonization of the global power system by replacing these sources like oil, coal, and natural gas, ultimately helping the world achieve net-zero energy goals.
Moreover, wind energy provides a clean and cost-effective alternative for powering homes, safeguarding consumers from price fluctuations associated with dirty energy sources.
While celebrating this achievement, the GWEC emphasizes the need to continue advancing wind technology. Building on this accomplishment, the wind industry must strive to construct even more capacity in the coming years to further decarbonize the planet.
The GWEC’s CEO, Ben Backwell, highlights the significance of this milestone, stating, “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.”
As we celebrate this milestone, it is crucial to recognize that there is still much work to be done. “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 decarbonize our planet,” emphasizes Jonathan Cole, the GWEC chairman.