Global Wind Day: The Future is Now –
Imagine you could go back in time. Not too far, just to the early 199os. Ask someone from that backward time about cell phones, mobile and wireless technology, how much RAM they needed in their computer (if they even had one), running an “online” business. The list go on. They’d probably think a world of ubiquitous “smart” phones, wifi, “streaming content,” and billion-dollar online businesses was a fanciful dream for the far-off future.
In 1990, there was a little more than 2,200 megawatts of wind generating capacity installed in California, constituting more than half the world’s capacity for wind power at the time. Wind energy as a major component of electrical generation was part of the fanciful future where everyone had a phone in their pocket.
In 2015, there is now 66,000 megawatts (66 gigawatts) of total installed generating capacity in 39 states. More than 51,000 megawatts of global wind capacity came online in 2014 alone, a 44 percent increase from 2013. And growth of renewable energy continues to expand, with wind a major component of this market expansion.
The increase in renewable energy markets and technology advances at a pace not expected, much like the rise of cell phones in the ’90s, continually outpacing projections.
In it’s 2015 Wind Vision report, the U.S. Department of Energy projects that wind energy can double within 5 years, then double again to provide 20 percent of electrical generating capacity in the U.S. by 2030. The report estimates that by 2050 wind power may account for one-third of U.S. electricity.
There are obstacles and challenges, but naysayers to the growth of the new energy economy are clearly on the wrong side of history.
Today is Global Wind Day – let’s celebrate a clean energy future!
Images courtesy of AWEA, John Pemble, courtesy flickr