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Published on September 27th, 2018 | by Joshua S Hill

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IEA Chief Predicts 200 Gigawatts Of Offshore Wind By 2040

September 27th, 2018 by  


Speaking at the Global Wind Summit on Tuesday, Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, predicted that wind energy would play “a critical role” in the world’s energy mix over the coming decades, and in Europe particular could generate as much as 1,100 terawatt-hours (TWh) by 2040, boosted in part by up to at least 200 gigawatts (GW) worth of offshore wind, if not more.

Fatih Birol, International Energy Agency Executive Director

The global offshore wind energy industry currently boasts approximately 20 GW worth of capacity — installed primarily in European waters — while the onshore wind industry boasts over 500 GW. However, according to Fatih Birol, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Executive Director, offshore wind is going to play an important role in the coming decades.

“Wind has a critical role to play in the world’s energy mix. It already accounts for almost 5% of electricity generation today, but its potential is much greater,” explained Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency. “With ongoing cost declines and the right government policies, it could become a leading source of generation globally in the coming decades.”

Specifically, Birol expects that not only will wind account for over 30% of Europe’s electricity generation — more than any other energy source — but that Europe’s offshore wind capacity is on track to reach nearly 200 GW by 2040, and could in fact go much higher.

“The developments in Europe can spark a wave of offshore wind appetite outside of Europe — there’s some fertile grounds for that,” Fatih Birol explained. “First of all Asia, with China followed by India. But also North America and Latin America — there’s big room [for growth] there.”

Birol was speaking at the annual Global Wind Summit, the world’s biggest wind energy event, which kicked off on Tuesday and will run through Friday, bringing together over 1,400 exhibitors and 500 speakers and presenters. Made up of the WindEnergy Hamburg expo and the WindEurope Conference, the Summit is an important stop on the wind energy industry’s calendar.

“Wind energy is re-shaping the global energy mix and finding new ways of bringing clean energy to citizens, industry and wider society,” said WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson. “The conference will look at how wind is breaking new ground. About how we’re harnessing the power of digitalisation, finding new ways of financing wind farms, exploring new technologies such as floating offshore wind and how wind can help electrify Europe’s energy system. We’ve got over 500 speakers lined up, including top figures from government, industry, finance and academia.”


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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at about.me for more.



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