Global installed wind power capacity just reached 1 TW

After a 40-year effort, global installed wind power capacity reached 1 terawatt (TW) this month – but 2 TW will likely be achieved in less than seven years.

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) uses 40 years as the benchmark because in the 1970s, Danish engineers began to experiment with designs that now serve as the foundation of today’s global wind industry.

But because of the global wind industry’s massive and rapid growth, GWEC forecasts that it will take less than seven years to reach 2 TW of global installed wind power capacity.

In April, Electrek reported that Wood Mackenzie forecast that global wind energy would pass the 1-TW threshold for installed capacity by the end of this year.

Yet GWEC marked the 1 TW milestone this week, and UN Climate Change also made that announcement on Twitter yesterday:

Recently completed wind power projects in China, the US, Europe, and Morocco pushed the capacity across the 1 TW threshold this month, according to GWEC.

Jonathan Cole, the new GWEC chairman, said on Wednesday:

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.

To avert a climate catastrophe with devastating impacts on communities and ecosystems everywhere, we must rapidly transform our economies, scaling up wind capacity to reach at least 8 terawatts by mid-century [to reach net zero]. There is no time and no need to delay.

Read more: Global wind energy will exceed 1 TW by the end of 2023

Photo: “Illinois Wind Farm along Chicago Rd 2” by weslowik is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0


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