Steve Sawyer, Secretary General, GWEC, gives a global overview of wind power during 2015, a very positive year culminating in the Paris agreement in December. He predicts a steady growth in the industry over the next five years.
Wind Power Leads All New Power Generation
More than 150 nations gathered in New York, on Earth Day, to formally sign the landmark climate change deal which was agreed in Paris last December, an all too rare triumph for multilateralism in a world that desperately needed one. Outgoing UNFCCC head Christiana Figueres, just named one of Time Magazine’s most influential 100 people in 2015, has predicted that the treaty will enter into force no later than 2018, two years ahead of schedule.
We need the extra time. While there are many positive signs, Mother Nature is sending signals of another sort: weird weather, droughts, floods, unprecedented Arctic sea-ice retreat, record high winter temperatures and Greenland’s annual glacier melt season started two months early. CO2 levels are rising at an alarming rate and we are now in uncharted territory in terms of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, at least since Homo sapiens have been around.
At the same time, there are a lot of positive signals: Elon Musk’s record breaking launch of the Tesla 3; decadal low fossil fuel prices have had no appreciable effect on the growth of wind and solar; the Financial Stability Board’s pronouncements on the climate related risks to the global financial system; Chin’s State Grid calling for first a regional and then a global grid to transport clean energy around the globe – a new Silk Road; the growing divestment from fossil fuels by institutional investors; and of course, the rapidly growing installation levels and record low prices of both wind and solar power.