Dear EarthTalk: What is the latest prognosis for wind energy to command a larger piece of the renewable energy pie? – Peter M., Akron, Ohio
Hydroelectric sources of power dwarf other forms of renewable energy, but wind power has been a dominant second for years, and continues to show growth moving forward. According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), global cumulative installed wind capacity—the total amount of wind power available—50-fold in less than two decades, from just 6,100 megawatts (MW) in 1996 to 318,137 MW in 2013.
And the future looks brighter still. Analysts from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predict that wind will account for the largest share—30 percent—of new renewables added to the global power grid by 2030. That new renewables are expected to account for as much as 70 percent of all new power sources over the next 20 years means that wind is poised to become a major player on the global energy scene.