People are focusing on making the planet safer, in order to make sure that green initiatives are the main focus of citizens around the world. In the past, we have been heavily reliant on fossil fuels like coal and gas. Formed over millions of years, our rate of consumption makes these energy sources unsustainable, driving us to develop more environmentally friendly practices.
Renewables is a fast-paced market, using turbines and wave power. However, it’s wind power that has made the most significant impact on how we generate and use energy — and we’re becoming increasingly reliant on it as an energy source.
Energy produced by power plants was less than the amount created through windfarms during 2016. On Christmas Day 2016, more than 40% of all of the energy generated was from renewable sources, with 75% of this figure coming from wind turbines. This was yet another milestone figure, up from 25% in 2015 and just 12% in 2012.
Electricity that was fuelled by coal had the lowest output in 80 years. So, what does the future hold for the wind energy sector in the UK and beyond? Controlled bolting for wind turbines specialist Hire Torque looks at how different regions around the world perform:
For the future
The wind energy industry is trying to figure out their next move. In total, the global installed capacity at the end of 2016 was 486,790 MW — an impressive figure by anyone’s standards.
Growth in the industry is expected to rise throughout 2017. They have been predictions where it is expected that the global installed capacity will rise to 546,100 MW. By 2018, this figure will hit 607,000 MW before reaching 817,000 MW by 2021. Although the rate of growth is anticipated to slow, it’s clear that wind power will continue to occupy a large energy share on a global scale.
Asia, North America and Europe are expected to remain the dominant wind power markets. By 2021, it’s anticipated that Asia will create 357,100 GW of energy from wind turbines. Europe is expected to hit 234,800 GW, while North America is likely to generate 159,100 GW.
Markets that are emerging are likely to continue with their development. For example, Latin America will grow to 40,200 GW by 2021 — up from 15,300 GW in 2016 — while the Middle East and Africa will more than quadruple their output, growing from 3,900 GW in 2016 to 16,100 GW in 2021.
Investments of the future
The industry relies on investments so that businesses can continue with the work that they are currently doing. In 2016, €43 billion was spent on constructing new windfarms, refinancing, fundraising and project acquisitions — an increase of €8 billion compared to 2015.
It looks as though the focus on offshore windfarms is growing and less focus is being put on the windfarms on the land too. Investments onshore dropped by 5%, while offshore reached a record-breaking €18.2 billion. Impressively, the UK is leading the way, raising €12.7 billion for new wind energy projects. This dwarfs the country in second place, Germany, with €5.3 billion.
Even though investments in projects are supposed to slow down, we have already seen €1.8 billion invested in the first quarter of 2017. While the total investment may be less, it’s clear that wind energy will remain vital to the global movement towards greener, more sustainable energy both now and in the future.