U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Wind Program

Wind Power Could Provide a Fifth of World's Electricity by 2030: Study

October 27, 2010

Photo of a seven large wind turbines in a field.

Wind energy from turbines such as these could produce 20% of the world's power by 2030, according to a new report.
Credit: Todd Spink

A new study by the Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace International reports that wind could meet 12% of global power demand by 2020, and up to 22% by 2030. The "Global Wind Energy Outlook 2010" (GWEO 2010), announced October 12, finds that wind power could play a key role in meeting the world's increasing power demand while also achieving major greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The 1,000 gigawatts (GW) of wind power capacity projected to be installed by 2020 would preclude the emission of as much as 1.5 billion tons of CO2 every year. By 2030, the world would be spared a total of 34 billion tons of CO2 by 2,300 GW of wind power capacity.

According to GWEO 2010, wind energy is also becoming a substantial factor in economic development, now providing more than 600,000 "green collar" jobs both in direct and indirect employment. By 2030, the number of jobs is projected to increase to over 3 million. The report forecasts an increase of up to ten times the current installed capacity in China by 2020, up from just 25 GW at the end of 2009. Wind energy is already a mainstream power generation source in many countries, and it is now deployed in more than 75 countries around the world. See the press release from the Global Wind Energy Council and the full reportPDF.