The current state of wind energy is one of significant growth and expansion. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, the installed capacity of wind power worldwide reached 739 GW by the end of 2020, an increase of 7% from the previous year. This growth is projected to continue, with the International Energy Agency predicting that wind energy will be the largest source of renewable power by 2025.
One of the major drivers of this growth is the decreasing cost of wind energy. The cost of wind energy has dropped by 69% since 2009, making it increasingly competitive with fossil fuels. Additionally, the development of larger and more efficient turbines has increased the capacity factor of wind energy, meaning that wind farms are able to produce more energy per unit of capacity.
Governments around the world have also been supportive of wind energy through policies such as renewable energy targets and tax credits. In the United States, for example, the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit have played a significant role in driving the growth of the wind energy industry. In Europe, the expansion of wind energy has been driven by the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive, which requires member states to produce a certain percentage of their energy from renewable sources by 2020.
As wind energy continues to grow, it is also becoming increasingly integrated into the electricity grid. Large-scale wind energy projects, such as offshore wind farms, are able to produce significant amounts of power, and advances in energy storage technology are allowing for the more efficient storage and distribution of wind energy.
Despite the growth of wind energy, there are still challenges to be addressed. One major challenge is the intermittency of wind energy, as wind speeds can fluctuate, leading to changes in power output. However, advances in forecasting and energy storage technologies are helping to mitigate this issue. Additionally, there are ongoing concerns about the environmental impact of wind energy, particularly with regard to the construction of wind turbines and their potential impact on wildlife. However, wind energy is widely considered to be a much less polluting and more sustainable option than fossil fuels.
Overall, the current state of wind energy is one of rapid growth and expansion, driven by decreasing costs and supportive government policies. While there are still challenges to be addressed, wind energy is becoming an increasingly important source of renewable power around the world.