A new report from the International Energy Agency released Friday claims that wind power could be a $1 trillion business by 2040
One of the greatest struggles in combating climate change is industrial. Much of our infrastructure has been built up over almost two centuries and is defended by corporations more concerned with profit than with protecting the environment. But a new report from the International Energy Agency released Friday claims that wind power could be a $1 trillion business by 2040 and that the power provided by the green technology has the potential to outstrip global energy needs.
According to the study, if windfarms were built across all useable sites which are no further than 60km (37 miles) off the coast, and where coastal waters are no deeper than 60 metres, they could generate 36,000 terawatt hours of renewable electricity a year. As the world needs 23,000 terawatts of electricity, the turbines would easily meet the worlds needs.
The IEA report concludes that as investment increases and the technology becomes cheaper, the sector could explode into potential profit.
From the study:
The IEA finds that global offshore wind capacity may increase 15-fold and attract around $1 trillion of cumulative investment by 2040. This is driven by falling costs, supportive government policies and some remarkable technological progress, such as larger turbines and floating foundations. That's just the start—the IEA report finds that offshore wind technology has the potential to grow far more strongly with stepped-up support from policy makers.
Aside from being very profitable, the offshore wind would not only contribute to generating clean electricity, but could also offer a major opportunity in the production of hydrogen, which can be used instead of fossil fuel gas for heating and in heavy industry.
The process of making hydrogen from water uses huge amounts of electricity but abundant, cheap offshore wind power could help produce a low-cost, zero-carbon alternative to gas.
The IEA’s executive director, Fatih Birol, said of the study, “Offshore wind provides a huge new business portfolio for major engineering firms and established oil and gas companies which have a strong offshore production experience. Our analysis shows that 40% of the work in offshore wind construction and maintenance has synergies with oil and gas practises.”