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Insights on Wind Energy Infrastructure Development

By He Dexin
President, WWEA

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In the face of greenhouse gas emissions, global climate change, ecological and environmental damage and energy consumption growth, energy transformation has become a matter closely linked with each country and humankind of the earth. The world is in a new era of energy transformation. The basic feature of the energy transformation is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop high proportion of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency, of which high proportion of renewable energy development is an important symbol of this energy transformation, while wind, solar, biomass and other renewable energy will play an important role in energy transformation.

In 2014, the global wind power market started to climb up, the newly installed wind power capacity reached 52.52 GW, and the cumulative installed wind power capacity reached 371.335 GW, so wind power capacity had accounted for around 4% of the world’s electricity supply. In 2014, China continued to lead the global wind power market, the newly installed wind power capacity accounted for 45.2% of that of world, and the cumulative installed wind power capacity accounted for 31% of that of world. In 2014, the most newly installed wind power capacity region was Asia, 26.161GW, followed by the Europe 12.820GW. In addition, the wind power markets of Africa, North America and Australia have also shown slow growth. According to preliminary statistics, the first half of 2015 global wind power installed capacity is close to 20 GW, more than 10 % bigger than in 2014. In a recent report 2015 World Energy Outlook released by the International Energy Agency (IEA), known for its underestimation of renewable energies, shows that by 2030 renewable energy will become the world’s most major power generation. The IEA predicts its proportion of the world’s total power generating capacity to increase up to 33% – all past IEA predictions have been exceeded by far. Therefore, the future of wind power market will continue to maintain growth momentum.

Climate change has been a threat to public health, happiness and security. Actively respond to climate change, get a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and promote the development of low-carbon energy has become a national policy of different national governments. In November of 2014, the governments of China and U.S. reached an agreement on achieving the goal of carbon emission peak value by 2030. G7 summit of this year proposed by 2050, global greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by about 70% and a full decarburization to be achieved by end of the century; by the end of 21st century global economy will achieve the two goals of carbonization. At present, the global greenhouse gas emissions mainly come from energy production and utilization, accounting for about 2/3, therefore, in order to achieve the goal of greenhouse gas emissions, we must change the current energy structure, the important sign of the reform is to achieve a high proportion of renewable energy development, and gradually form a renewable energy-oriented, multiple, low-carbon and safe energy system. The United States and Germany proposed that by 2050 80% electricity will come from renewable energy, France and Australia also proposed that by 2050 100% electricity will come from renewable energy, Israel proposed by 2040, renewable energy in the proportion of the energy structure reached 80% or more, Saudi Arabia will get rid of the dependence on fossil energy in 2040. China put forward in a study report about high proportion of renewable energy development situation and path that the proportion of renewable energy will reach 62%.

High proportion of renewable energy development will get rid of fossil energy dependence step by step, which has become the basic mode of future energy supply and consumption, high proportion of renewable energy development will further promote the global economic and social development, promote new industries, promote energy technology progress, expand employment, and achieve harmony between humankind, humankind and nature, humankind and society, build a beautiful earth, it is the dream of all human beings.

At present, global renewable energy in the process of sustainable development is still facing many constraints, which needs all countries to work together to cope with. To this end, the World Wind Energy Association made the following suggestions:

1. High proportion of renewable energy development requires international community to build a scientific renewable energy development strategy planning and objective, also on the basis of a signed global climate change agreement. Governments should have a stable policy environment and regulations supporting, increase investment in renewable energy and promote energy transformation.

2. Wind energy will be an important part of high proportion of renewable energy development. Wind energy utilization requires sophisticated system engineering, and it will be integrated into the whole energy system to plan and implement, and wind energy should have synergetic development with other renewable energy. We should adapt to the development of a new round of industrial revolution, making full use of information technology to explore new business models and market mechanisms, improving energy efficiency, and reducing the cost of power generation.

3. Wind energy has no borders. Utilizing wind power and protecting the earth is the common goal of all mankind. Governments have the responsibility to raise public awareness of renewable energy utilization. Wind energy has no borders, we should make sure the role of non-governmental organizations in various countries are given full play,  and use the established exchange platform and the cooperation agreement between governments to further strengthen international cooperation and exchanges, especially developed countries should actively support the technological progress and capacity building in developing countries. While focusing on the development of large-scale renewable energy, we also need to address the needs of poor areas to develop distributed and small and medium renewable energy systems, expand renewable energy investment projects and achieve win-win cooperation.

Acknowledgements: I would like to give my sincere thanks to IEA, WWEA,  and CWEA for their help with this article.

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