Wind Energy is one of the fastest growing energy sources in the world.
The process is relatively similar to solar energy in that we harness one type of energy to turn it into another.
Wind hits a turbine’s blades, causing the turbine to turn. The rotational movement, being kinetic energy, moves a shaft which is connected to a generator. This allows electricity to be produced through electromagnetism.
As with most renewable energy sources, wind is an unlimited source of energy thereby making operational costs extremely little once the turbines have been erected. Mass production and technology advancement are making the turbines cheaper every year, alongside many government tax initiatives.
The industry has been divided between onshore and offshore wind power.
Onshore energy requires turbines installed on land whereas offshore refers to turbines over open seawater that harness the power of faster winds.
The difference between these two types of wind farms comes in the forms of cost and consistency. Offshore wind farms require platforms for the turbines and underwater cables to transport the generated electricity. Maintenance for offshore wind farms also need staff transportation on either a helicopter or ship.
Onshore generation, while cheaper, can be slightly less predictable. To effectively install onshore farms one has to study the terrain and wind currents to ensure that power can be generated consistently. Offshore farms enjoy less inconsistency because there are constant winds with higher speeds.
The market was valued at $90.114 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.34% to reach a total size of $123.154 billion in 2025.
Since the early millennium, the increase in capacity in megawatts has been astronomical as more and more countries adopted wind power into their electricity production. In 2016 alone, wind power accounted for 16% of the energy generated by renewables.
The reason for this dramatic increase in wind power usage is likely connected to its decreasing cost. Just as with solar power, wind power has become increasingly inexpensive throughout the last decade making it a more attractive option around the world.
It is projected that the global annual wind power capacity will rise from 93,000 megawatts in 2020 to 112,224 in 2025. By 2050, both onshore and offshore wind will be responsible for 20-40% of power generation in most regions around the world.
By geography, global market has been divided into five regions: South America, North America, Middle East and Africa, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
Europe was responsible for a significant market share in 2019. The continent has taken a strong liking to the technology especially in places where solar power is less effective. Concerns on environmental sustainability across EU member states with targets focused on reducing the dependence on non-renewable energy sources is boosting the capacity of wind turbines in the region.
Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash
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