Europe’s onshore wind energy potential could meet the power needs of the entire world until 2050, according to new analysis.

The report from the University of Sussex and Aarhus University shows that if all sites across the continent suitable for hosting wind farms were doing so, Europe would multiply by 100 the energy it produced from onshore wind. In turn that would generate enough energy for all until the middle of this decade. The research isn’t presented as a roadmap, rather as an indicator to policymakers of what is possible.

“The study is not a blueprint for development but a guide for policymakers indicating the potential of how much more can be done and where the prime opportunities exist,” said Co-author Benjamin Sovacool, Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Sussex. “Our study suggests that the horizon is bright for the onshore wind sector and that European aspirations for a 100% renewable energy grid are within our collective grasp technologically.”

Power density potential for each country. Credit: University of Sussex/Aarhus University

Professor Sovacool added: “Obviously, we are not saying that we should install turbines in all the identified sites but the study does show the huge wind power potential right across Europe which needs to be harnessed if we’re to avert a climate catastrophe.”