Last weekend The Guardian reported on how a new reactor in the Essex village of Bradwell could overshadow an area of outstanding natural beauty and a unique Saxon church, writes Ashley Norris of Transition Earth.
Do we need nuclear power though? A new report from Rethink Energy predicts that wind power will become ‘the backbone’ of the electricity sector’s transformation over the next decade. It suggests that it could account for two-thirds of global power production by 2030.
The report looks at the surge of wind power in countries that have led the day in the use of renewable powers such as China, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand. It also notes the enthusiasm that the new US president Joe Biden has for wind power and the UK’s commitment to quadruple offshore wind power.
From an installed capacity of 756GW at the end of 2020, Rethink Energy projects that the next decade will see the wind power market grow threefold by 2030 when projects in operation will amount to 2,126GW. China will be the largest driver of this growth, accounting for 36% of additions over the next decade, reaching 780GW of cumulative capacity by 2030. The US is the second-largest market, accounting for 15% followed by India.
Wind is projected to overtake hydropower and nuclear over the coming decade as economies shift from reliance on carbon-based fuels. The report’s author Harry Morgan also commented on the impact of COVID-19 on the rollout of wind farms.
“Much of the global resilience in the wind sector has been a result of China’s strong recovery to COVID-19, and a strong bounce back in industrial activity – as seen through its surge of wind installations in the back end of 2020,” he argues.
“While some factories were forced into closure early on in the pandemic, companies across the supply chain have adapted well to operating under new conditions, and only around 20% of projects were pushed back from the first half of the year – much of which has already been made up for. With an acceleration in climate change ambitions, governments have also been accommodating of any delays, with a raft of measures to extend deadlines for subsidies and auctions.”
Morgan says of Joe Biden’s plans “his target for the power sector to reach net-zero emissions by 2035, and clean energy infrastructure spending – as part of his $2tn stimulus package – will provide investors with a greater amount of certainty that projects will face minimum resistance through development, and will receive the necessary level of financial support.”