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Unlocking the potential of wind power

Asia can be the global capital of a wind energy sector supplying a third of the world’s energy needs by 2050, according to a new report. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report, Future of Wind, published today at China Wind Power in Beijing, shows increasing onshore and offshore capacity by ‘four-fold to ten-fold’ annually would see Asia become home to more than half of global capacity, with the sector as whole delivering a ‘quarter of the energy-related carbon emission reductions’.

“With renewables, it’s possible to achieve a climate-safe future,” said IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera. “Low-cost renewable energy technologies like wind power are readily-available today, representing the most effective and immediate solution for reducing carbon emissions. Our roadmap for a global energy transformation to 2050 shows that it is technically and economically feasible to ensure a climate-safe, sustainable energy future. Unlocking global wind energy potential will be particularly important. In fact, wind energy could be the largest single source of power generation by mid-century under this path. This would not only enable us to meet climate goals, but it would also boost economic growth and create jobs, thereby accelerating sustainable development.”

To realise the huge potential of wind power IRENA says policymakers and industry leaders must be investing $211 billion annually in onshore wind by 2050 – up from $67 billion today; while offshore will need to be attracting $100 billion – up from $19 billion today.

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