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G8 & Climate change - 12% of the world's electricity can be supplied by wind; 11 billion tonnes of CO2 saved by 2020

30.06.2005

Climate change is a top priority for both G8 and EU UK Presidencies. By 2020, 12% electricity from a total of 1,250 GW of wind power installed will save a cumulative 10,771 million tonnes of CO2. 13 countries around the world can help to achieve major wind growth, according to the industry report "Wind Force 12", released today.

The report also highlights that thirteen key countries around the world can play a leadership role to help unlock the major market deployment envisaged by this industry blueprint: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, the Philippines, Poland, Turkey, the UK and the USA. These markets are at an early but developing stage, and provide an insight into where major wind growth may be achieved.

“Wind energy has a huge role to play in our energy future and in combating climate change. It is already one of the fastest growing energy sectors in the world. G8 nations must encourage and support wind power developments worldwide to ensure that we can curb greenhouse gas emissions,” said Sven Teske, of Greenpeace International.

Today, wind power installed in Europe is saving over 50 million tonnes of CO2 a year and on track by 2010 to deliver one third of the EU’s Kyoto commitment. In the report, the value of the global market for wind turbines is to move from the current €8 billion to an € 80 billion annual business by 2020. Wind power is one of the most effective power technologies that is ready today for global deployment on the requisite scale, and can be installed far quicker than other conventional power stations.

“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”, said Corin Millais, of the Global Wind Energy Council. “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.”

Wind energy is a significant resource; it is safe, clean, and abundant. Unlike conventional fuels, wind energy is an indigenous supply permanently available in virtually every nation in the world, delivering energy security benefits of avoided fuel costs, eliminating long term fuel price risk, and avoids the economic, political and supply risks of dependence on imports from other countries.

With no intervention, the International Energy Association (IEA) estimates that, under current trends, the world’s electricity demand could double from 2002 to 2030, accounting for 60% of new investment in energy supply by then. The global power sector requires 4,800GW - 2,000GW of this in the OECD - of new capacity to meet increasing demand and replacing aging infrastructure, at a cost of €10,000 billion in power generation, transmission and distribution.

By 2030, the power sector could account for 45% of global carbon emissions. The investment choices made now will determine the level of emissions of carbon dioxide for many decades.

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