29 March , 2022

Global Wind Energy Council statement on IRENA’s 2022 World Energy Transition Outlook

Brussels, 29 March | GWEC welcomes the rallying call in this year’s World Energy Transitions Outlook, published by IRENA today as a roadmap to reach a 1.5°C pathway and net zero by 2050. 

The report clearly outlines wind and solar leading the way to a more secure, resilient energy system which can meet our climate targets. Within this decade, wind energy needs to scale up to 3,380 GW – roughly four times the installed capacity in the world today – and provide one-quarter of global electricity by 2030.

IRENA rightly highlights that renewables protect consumers from the price volatility associated with fossil fuels, which is creating turmoil in energy systems today and on a long-term trend to even higher prices. In addition, economic analysis shows that “the idea that fossil gas alone will be required to integrate higher shares of variable solar and wind is being fast overtaken by the improved economics of alternative sources of flexibility.”

"A modern, flexible and resilient system with high shares of wind and renewables will usher in new magnitudes of investment in electricity generation and networks"

Indeed, average costs for onshore and offshore wind have steadily declined over the last decade. But further measures are needed to support large-scale system integration of wind power, like accelerated permitting schemes for projects, land/seabed availability, investment in expanded and flexible grids, and market mechanisms for direct procurement by private offtakers. IRENA also notes the supply of commodities and critical minerals like copper, neodymium and dysprosium which will be crucial to secure for the wind supply chain.

A modern, flexible and resilient system with high shares of wind and renewables will usher in new magnitudes of investment in electricity generation and networks. In the 1.5C scenario, annual global investment in onshore wind grows by 3.7x and in offshore wind by 6.4x, totalling more than $400 billion. This represents enormous opportunities for policymakers to tap the vast, unexploited wind potential around the world and mobilise large-scale investment, job creation and green growth.

GWEC will publish the Global Wind Report 2022 on 4 April, 2022. It will provide a comprehensive overview of the global wind industry, with the latest market data, profiles of markets to watch and analysis of the biggest topics in the industry: System Design, Society, the Supply Chain, Technology, Infrastructure and the Workforce. Download from GWEC.net on 4 April. 

GWEC will be running sessions looking at the takeaways and data from the report during WindEurope’s Annual Event, from 5-7 April. Browse the programme and sign up to attend the remote webinars here

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Alex Bath

Communications Director [email protected]

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