Wind Energy's Present and Future
In the spring of 2005, the Global Wind Energy Council was launched in Brussels. The launch of this society is one demonstration of the growing significance of wind energy worldwide. The European Wind Energy Association has a target of 75 GW by 2010.
Wind energy, considered by its proponents to be the most promising form of renewable energy, decreases in cost annually. Over the course of the 1990's its cost was cut in half. There is little reason to think that this trend will not be carried over to our current decade.
Wind energy increases in demand every year. In 2004, records were again broken in Canada, the US, Germany and many other countries. In Canada, for example, the industry has grown an average of 27 percent per year over the last five years.
The wind industry's 20 percent global growth in 2004 is called by many "just the tip of the iceberg."
The American Wind Energy Association has said that it expects the industry to install 2.5 GW of new capacity in 2005. That's enough energy to power about 700,000 homes. This growth is not only beneficial for the environment and energy savings, but many jobs are expected to be created on a yearly basis.
Much of this growth rests on the shoulders of grid powering, but small wind energy is also making great gains, as end consumers realize the cost and environmental benefits of generating their own wind power. The American Wind Energy Association has forecast sales of 13,000 small wind turbines, 14 MW and $25 million in sales, for 2005.
As is the case with other economic areas, Asia is the sleeping giant in renewable energy. India is the leader here, with an installed wind power capacity of 3.5 GW. India is also home to the largest single unit in Asia, a 2 MW wind turbine installed in Tamil Nadu.