Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Wind Energy Growth

From The Union of Concerned Scientists:

As wind power costs become more competitive, demand is growing exponentially all over the world. Global wind power capacity rose from just over 6,000 MW in 1996 to more than 59,000 MW by the end of 2005–almost a ten-fold increase. Growth has recently been most significant in Northern Europe, Spain, and India, but markets in Asia and the Pacific region are emerging as well.

Robert Socolow and Stephen Pacala, designers of the stabilization wedge for the Princeton University Carbon Mitigation Initiative, recommend that we increase our reliance on wind by 50-fold by 2054 in order for wind power to provide one of their wedges. Each wedge = 1 billion tons of emissions avoided; they believe we need 7 wedges to stabilize atmospheric CO2 levels. A 50-fold increase would mean adding world-wide wind capacity at the rate of about 61,000 MW every year.

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