Steve Sawyer of GWEC
At the end of 2012, Brazil had 2.5 GW of installed wind capacity, enough to power four million households, accounting for 2% of national electricity consumption. In 2012 alone, 40 new wind farms came online, adding more than 1 GW of new capacity to the Brazilian electricity grid and creating 15,000 new jobs. This represents an investment of USD 3.43 billion (€2.63 billion), which is expected to increase to USD 24.50 billion (€18.8 billion) by 2020. Steve Sawyer of the Global Wind Energy Council gives his opinion on wind energy in Brazil, the “country of the future”.
How would you compare the current status of the Brazilian wind market to how it was five years ago?
Five years ago, Brazil’s wind industry was in its infancy, with a cap of just 1100 (later 1400 MW) of wind power development. Since the introduction of the auction scheme in 2009, the industry has taken off in a big way.
Why is the Brazilian wind energy auction system successful?
IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven
A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), stating that global power generation from hydro, wind, solar and other renewable sources will exceed that of gas and be twice that of nuclear by 2016, is receiving widespread news coverage.
Renewable power is expected to increase by 40% in the next five years, according to the IEA’s second annual Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report launched last Wednesday in New York.
According to the report, renewables are now the fastest-growing power generation sector and will make up almost a quarter of the global power mix by 2018, up from an estimated 20% in 2011.
In addition, the report found that the share of non-hydro sources such as wind, solar, bioenergy and geothermal in total power generation will double, reaching 8% by 2018, up from 4% in 2011 and just 2% in 2006.
“As their costs continue to fall, renewable power sources are increasingly standing on their own merits versus new fossil-fuel generation,” IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said as she presented the report at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum.
Anti-wind power lobbyists have long contested claims by the wind industry that wind power is competitive with fossil fuels. But technological advances, making wind turbines bigger, smarter, and more competitive in all situations, mean the wind is fast being taken out of the naysayers’ sails.
Both EWEA and GWEC, the Global Wind Energy Council, agree that “onshore wind power is competitive once all the costs that affect traditional energy sources – like fuel and CO2 costs, and the effects on environment and health – are factored in”. Taking CO2 costs alone, “if a cost of €30 per tonne of CO2 emitted was applied to power produced, onshore wind energy would be the cheapest source of new power generation in Europe,” states EWEA. Moreover, wind is already “directly competitive with conventional sources in many places around the world, such as Mexico, Brazil, New Zealand, parts of China and the US,” according to GWEC.
Australia also seems to have been added to this list after a report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) in February stated that wind is now cheaper than fossil fuels in producing electricity in Australia, a story reported on this blog at the time.
By Kara Perconti
Are you creative with your camera and have a passion for wind energy? Then you might be keen to enter EWEA’s 2013 photo competition for Global Wind Day, giving yourself the chance to win a €1,000 Amazon voucher!
Following the success of last year’s hugely popular Global Wind Day photo competition, this year we are launching a photo competition with a twist: we are looking for entrants to submit a photo accompanied by a short story about wind energy describing to us what wind energy means to you.
Do you have a story to tell about wind energy? Whether you simply think wind turbines are attractive, or you think wind energy is the future, or, you work in the sector and want to tell us your story, supplement a photo submission with a short text. Tell us of a time when wind energy inspired you or sparked your attention, we want to know!
Anyone who has ever visited Africa and witnessed the continent’s still grinding poverty and its poor access to electricity will be delighted by recent news that work should begin later this year on a 300-MW wind farm in Kenya.
Officials with the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP) said 365 wind turbines would eventually be erected in an arid region in the east African nation, which has a population of about 43 million people.