Thursday, October 11, 2012

Powering half the world with Wind by 2030

Is it possible? Will nations with good wind potential (and those with money) go for it?

In 2011, nearly 200,000 wind turbines around the world met 2.5% of global energy needs. But according to RenewableEnergyWorld, new study tells that there is every possibility that wind could power half the world with clean energy by 2030. That is pretty impressive.

Giant wind-turbine blades belong to GE Energy Financial Services. Photo: GE

Wind power fast growing

Wind power is now the fastest-growing and one of the cheapest renewable energy sources, and in last year 40.5 GW of new wind power was brought on line, bringing the global total capacity up to 238 GW. This is translated into offsetting over 600 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Researchers estimated that 4 million 5MW turbines operating at a height of 100 meters could provide over 7.5 TW of power, at no risk to the environment. This is more than half of our energy needs (which is estd. 5.75 TW) in 2030.

Wind power is the least damaging option

The research team is confident that of all the sources of energy, wind is one of the sources of energy with the least environmental impact. Energy from wind would come from the mixture of onshore and offshore wind turbine, with offshore likely to be more important to the future of wind due to several advantages:
  • It’s right there on the coasts, where the people are. Hence lower cost to install,
  • Offshore wind tends to peak in the afternoon, which is when people peak with demand for electricity,
  • Offshore sites tend to be windier than onshore sites.

Wind turbines are expensive now but at the rate technology is advancing today, it would not be too far-fetched to think about 'affordability' in the near future.

TheGreenMechanics: No doubt, offshore wind turbines are less expensive in a long run, but with gigantic 100m high unsightly poles in waters near you, you'd be in for a less than desirable sea view. Of course you have to compromise a thing or two to get clean energy.

Further readings, please go to: RenewableEnergyWorld

No comments: