Wind energy in the world, how does the wind blow?
6 years ago: the situation in 2015
Only 6 years ago we wrote this article on wind energy production in the world, so here is how the situation was in 2015 and what we wrote at that time:
“The European country that has produced the most energy from wind (about 43%) is Denmark, thanks to one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world: the Anholt power plant in the Kettagat sea. Wind will be, in 2016, the cheapest source in the country and will cost half as much as coal and natural gas.
Portugal and Spain – second and third place – generate 20% of their electricity from the wind and Ireland is in fourth place with its 19%. Germany and the United Kingdom – fifth and sixth place – for now reach 9% of electricity from wind sources, but adding the production of photovoltaic energy, they are gradually exiting from the use of sources such as coal and nuclear power.
Wind energy production increased by 8% in 2014, while that produced by coal plants fell by 6%. The difference between wind and coal is more noticeable in the UK. In fact, in 2014 the UK generated 11% more electricity from wind and 25% less from coal than in 2013.
In the ranking, Romania is seventh with nearly 9% of wind energy production. This country is home to one of the largest wind farms in the world, a 600 megawatt plant owned by the Czech CEZ.
As for the large CO2 emitters – such as the United States and China – we can state that the wind farms in the US produce more electricity than any other country: 182 TWh in 2014, equal to 4.4 percent of the country’s annual production.
China – the world leader in installed capacity for wind energy with 115,000 megawatts – still accounts for less than 3% of electricity production. However, wind energy has more than doubled since 2011, leaving nuclear power behind.
Wind energy is now the third largest source of electric power behind coal and hydroelectric power”.
Wind energy in 2020
2020 was a year marked by the pandemic. However, China and the United States did not stop and led the way with a real record of wind farm installations (onshore and offshore), probably thanks to a more favorable fiscal and bureaucratic situation compared to the European Union.
According to BloomberNEF, in 2020 wind farms were built all over the world for a total power of around 96.7 GW, a good leap forward compared to the 60 GW of the previous year. And, unlike what one might think, the onshore wind power – that is wind power plants on land – was the predominant.
Wind power installations in China and the USA: a record
The Chinese wind energy market has experienced unprecedented exponential growth: an absolute record as wind power plants of 57.8 GW of production capacity have been built in China alone. If we consider that in 2019 all over the world there were little less than 60 GW, we understand that the impact is considerable.
In the same way as China, 2020 was also a record year for wind energy in the US. In fact, the energy capacity produced by the wind sector increased by 85% compared to the previous year. As a matter of fact in 2020, nearly 17 GW of clean electricity generated by wind power were added to the US network, which are able to power about 5 million homes.
As happened also in China, probably the expiry of some tax incentives by the end of 2020 has actually accelerated the development of new wind farms.
And in Europe?
The states of northern Europe drive the European wind energy market, in particular Great Britain with its 11 GW of wind energy installed, almost all with offshore plants.
One of the biggest problems at a European level is probably bureaucracy: in fact, bureaucratic procedures are often too complicated, with rules that are difficult to follow and installations that are never safe until commissioning, also due to possible decisions by the courts on permits or environmental issues.
Probably, before we see a real expansion of wind farms in Europe, it will be necessary to get to a clearer and simpler regulation on a continental level. For now, therefore, we are focusing on our quality and design micro wind turbines, which are small wind installations ideal in an urban environment.
After all, a drop is enough to make a hole in a rock.