Monday, July 04, 2005

'Windforce 12' shows 12% of the world's electricity can be supplied by wind by 2020

Greenpeace: Choose Clean Energy - News
'Windforce 12' shows 12% of the world's electricity can be supplied by wind by 2020


11 billion tonnes of CO2 can be saved by 2020

Greenpeace and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) today launched 'Windforce 12', a global wind energy blueprint that describes how wind power can supply 12% of the world's electricity by 2020. The report is a crucial tool in the race to cut greenhouse gas emissions, showing that by 2020, 1,250 GW of wind power can be installed saving a cumulative 10,771 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, a key contributor to climate change. Wind Force 12 demonstrates that there are no technical, economic or resource barriers to supplying 12% of the world's electricity needs with wind power alone by 2020 - against the challenging backdrop of a projected two thirds increase of electricity demand by that date.

Wind Force 12 is the main global wind energy assessment, and has been conducted annually since 1999 by EWEA (the European Wind Energy Association) and Greenpeace International. The 2005 report has been completed by Greenpeace and EWEA on behalf of GWEC - the Global Wind Energy Council.

The report shows that wind is one of the most effective power technologies that is ready today for global deployment on a scale that can help tackle the threat of climate change, meet the rising demand for energy and safeguard security of energy supplies. Wind power can be installed far quicker than other conventional power stations, a significant factor in economies with rapid growth in electricity demand. Today, wind power installed in Europe is saving over 50 million tonnes of CO2 a year and is on track by 2010 to deliver one third of the EU's Kyoto commitment. In the UK, wind power is set to grow rapidly as the Government implements its plan to generate 10% of the nation's electricity from renewables by 2010. The majority, some 7-8 GW of new power, will be met from onshore and offshore wind energy. The value of the global market for wind turbines is set to grow from the current E8 billion to an estimated E80 billion annual business by 2020.

The UK is now one of only eight countries around the world to have installed over a gigawatt of wind energy capacity, a record which was broken earlier this month with the opening of the UK's largest onshore wind farm to date, the 58.5 MW Cefn Croes project in Ceredigion in Wales. Breaking the gigawatt barrier comes in a record year of growth for the UK wind industry, with a total of 18 new wind projects totalling some 500 MW of capacity expected to be officially commissioned by year end, taking UK wind generation to over 1% of UK electricity supply. Meanwhile continued development in the offshore sector means that sometime in 2006, the UK is set to become the world's number one offshore wind generator, making it a significant player in the global wind energy market.

The report also highlights that thirteen key countries, including the UK, can play a leadership role to help unlock the major market deployment envisaged by this blueprint: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, the Philippines, Poland, Turkey, the UK and the USA.

The wind industry today is one of the world's fastest growing energy sectors and offers the best opportunity to begin the transition to a global economy based on sustainable energy, helping to satisfy global energy demands and unlock a new era of economic growth, technological progress and environmental protection

Wind energy is a significant and powerful resource. It is safe, clean, and abundant. Unlike conventional fuels, wind energy is a massive indigenous power source permanently available in virtually every nation in the world. It delivers the energy security benefits of avoided fuel costs, no long term fuel price risk, and wind power avoids the economic and supply risks that can exist with reliance on imported fuels and political dependence on other countries.

Stephen Tindale, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK commented on the report today in advance of the G8 summit:

"The barriers to harnessing Europe's massive wind resources are not technological, they are political. If Tony Blair had been willing to expend half as much time and effort embracing the wind revolution as he has on his fruitless attempt to shift George Bush, the UK would have a world-beating industry and our carbon emissions would be going down rather than up."

Marcus Rand, CEO of the British Wind Energy Association said:

"Wind energy has now firmly arrived in the UK. This year the wind industry is breaking all records as we expand to meet the bulk of the Government's renewable targets. This new report makes clear that the UK is a critical market in the global roll out of this exciting carbon free source of power. For us to deliver our potential here in the UK it is essential that the progress that has been made over the past few years is built upon and maintained."

Corin Millais, of the Global Wind Energy Council said:

"Wind power is one of the few energy supply technologies that is ready for a broader roll out today; wind has the maturity, clout and global muscle to deliver deep cuts in CO2, while providing a hedge against fluctuating fossil fuel prices and reduce energy import dependence. The global energy challenge of our time is not only to tackle climate change, but to meet the rising demand for energy and to safeguard security of energy supplies. As a power technology which can meet these three challenges, wind energy is a leading candidate."

A copy of the Windforce 12 report can be downloaded here.

Further Information
Please contact:
Ben Stewart, Greenpeace UK, 020 7865 8255 or

For information on the 'Windforce 12' report, contact Luisa Colasimone, Director of Communications, EWEA on +32 2 546 1981 or