Greenpeace has issued their Energy Revolution blueprint to provide a basis for reducing mankind's CO2 emissions.
There's some great stuff in their blueprint, too much to go into in any detail here, however a key part of their energy strategy involves wind energy. In fact, they recommend increasing fromcurrent levels of around 100GW of installed capacity, to 2733 GW in 2050! This will require a massive increase in: identification and development of sites, local government approval of projects, production of wind turbines, and development of grid infrastructure. A great challenge for our industry indeed!
I've done some rough calculations based on the supplied data, and some of my ideas are:
- We will need to significantly ramp up the wind industry in the next few years to meet this target of 2733 GW - more than tripling our current rate of installation to around 60 GW per year. That would involve installing around 30,000 2MW-turbines every year, being around a thousand projects commissioned every year - that's alot of sites that need development.
- Onshore wind will definitely be key, however offshore wind will need to grow significantly to around 20% of the total by 2050 - 547 GW of offshore wind energy, that's thousands of large individual offshore projects. Significant development in site acquisition studies, and energy estimation will be a key element of this.
- This will transform the wind turbine-manufacturing industry from around US$30b/year today to over $100b/year! Plenty of room for new manufacturers, and novel design concepts. Reducing the capital cost will be the key driver, with smart developers looking at the realistic and accurate costs for generated energy over the projcet's life ($/MW.hr)
- Operational and Maintenance (O&M) will become a serious industry, from current levels of around US$4b/year to US$100b/year in 2050. This will be a serious industry, surpassing the turbine-manufacturing industry, and resulting in some interesting market and industry movements. Maybe the wind industry will go the way the aircraft industry went, with more money in operations, and leasing being the predominant business model?
Ambitious targets, and exciting times for the wind industry. Our future energy needs will require a portfolio approach, with the renewable-energy industry being increasingly important with all its different technologies healthily competing to displace the old-world technologies.