WORLD LOOKS TO WIND AS CLIMATE SOLUTION
Wind Power Sets Records As Countries Seek Climate Fixes; A key tool in the U.S. Clean Power Plan, wind gets global lift with lower costs and more offshore farms. But will its growth continue?
Wendy Koch, August 13, 2015 (National Geographic)
“As global climate efforts intensify this year…[wind's costs are plummeting in the United States, and offshore farms are soaring in Europe …Worldwide, wind power expanded more last year than ever before, and new reports show it’s continuing to gain ground. Since it emits no heat-trapping carbon dioxide, wind will be a key tool for countries crafting a new UN-led climate accord this December in Paris…Europe’s offshore wind farms are producing record amounts of power. They tripled capacity in the first six months of this year compared to the same period of 2014…In the U.S., wind now provides 5 percent of the nation’s electricity…Better technology has helped wind's wholesale cost fall to an all-time low—just 2.35 cents per kilowatt hour, a drop of two-thirds from its 2009 peak…[Wind has] also grown rapidly in India, which had the world’s fifth largest capacity by the end of last year…[and new] markets are also emerging in Latin America and Africa…[But] there are challenges ahead…[G]rowth is slowing in parts of Europe…Supporters say wind power can significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions. Along with solar, it accounted for nearly two-thirds of emission reductions in the European Union in 2012…” click here for more