The European Union (EU) has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95 percent in the next 40 years, and a new report by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) suggests wind power can be a hefty contributor to this reduction. The report features predictions of wind power use in Europe up until the year 2050.
By 2020, the report says, EU nations will have at least tripled their wind power capacity, meeting around 16 percent of the EU’s power demand. By 2030, the EWEA expects wind power to provide 28.5 percent of power. For comparison, in 2010, wind power contributed just 5.3 percent of EU power. By mid-century, the EWEA believes that half of the power demand of the European Union could be met by wind power – from both onshore and offshore wind farms.
EWEA Chief Executive Christian Kjaer estimated that 194 billion Euros will be invested in onshore and offshore wind farms this decade, with annual investments doubling. “This will make a very substantial contribution to meeting Europe’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the short timeframe provided by the scientific community,” Kjaer said.
Kjaer acknowledged, however, that after 2020, an amount of uncertainty must be taken into consideration. He stressed the importance of making the necessary commitments as early as possible to provide the stability needed to invest in further wind power expansion and job creation.