Growth of global wind capacity ‘must triple over next decade to reach net zero’

The world needs to install a minimum of 180GW of new wind energy every year to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, according to a new report

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Global wind power installations must increase three times faster than the current pace over the next decade to allow countries to stay on a net zero pathway and limit global warming.

That’s according to a new report by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), which suggests a minimum of 180GW of new wind energy is needed every single year to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

The data shows the wind industry installed 93GW of new wind last year, helping the current total global capacity reach 743GW.

Analysts note that the growth in new wind capacity in 2020 was driven mainly by the Chinese and US installations making up 75% of the total.

The GWEC estimates that the current installed wind capacity helps countries avoid more than 1.1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, equivalent to the total annual carbon emissions of South America.

The organisation calls on policymakers to take urgent action to speed up more installations by increasing investments and simplifying licencing and permitting processes for wind projects.

Ben Backwell, Chief Executive Officer at GWEC, said: “Our current market forecasts show that 469GW of new wind power capacity will be installed over the next five years.

“But we need to be installing at least 180GW of new capacity every year through 2025 to ensure we remain on the right path to limit global warming well below 2°C, meaning we are currently on track to be 86GW short on average each year.”

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