World wind energy development

Wind energy is the fastest growing renewable energy technology and is widely regarded as the main technology that will decrease carbon emissions from electricity production. The maturing sector is rapidly becoming a major energy market and was estimated to be worth $240 billion in 2008 (REN21, 2009) employing around 400,000 people in the sector. Wind energy utilizes relatively mature technology and benefits from a very large global resource, estimated to be approximately 72TW, over 35 times the global electricity demand! (Archer and Jacobson, 2004). Although a range of constraints rule out the economic utilization of much of this resource, it is estimated that an economically feasible energy resource of 39,000TWh/yr exists globally. This is double the 2008 global energy demand!Global wind energy installed capacity reached 120.8GW by the end of 2008 and it is expected that this capacity will generate 260TWh annually (GWEC, 2009), representing approximately 1% of global electricity demand (EIA, 2009).The global wind power sector is currently the fastest growing electricity generation technology with the level of annual installed capacity growing at an average rate of 27.6% p.a. for the past five years (BTM Consult APS, 2009). The wind energy sector has undergone significant consolidation and is now a mainstream energy market showing growing maturity.

Growth of the global wind capacity over the last decade (GWEC, 2009)