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Klaus Esterluß | COP17

Wind power crucial for fighting climate change

As the parties are battling over ways to fight climate change in Durban at COP17, the Global Wind Energy Council published a new study on the potential of wind power for significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the energy sector. Since 40% of global CO2 emissions are produced by the power sector it is perfectly clear that we can not win the fight against climate change without a dramatic shift in the way we produce and consume electricity. As science makes clear: global emissions need to peak and begin to decline before 2020. That is a goal only to be reached with a increase of in renewable energy deployments. While building a conventional power plant can take up to ten years, a large wind farm can be put up in a matter of months. And within three to six months of operations, a wind turbine has offset all emissions from its construction, to run virtually carbon free for the remainder of its 20 year lifetime, according to the study.
In the latest publication concerning “Wind Energy and climate policy” introduced here in Durban it says that in terms of the targets already stated by the industrialized countries for the period up to 2020, global wind energy could contribute at least 44% of the total emissions reductions, i.e. 1.5 billion tons of CO2 every year. And although that is nowhere near what the science tells us is required, even for a larger reduction wind power could play a crucial role in achieving that goal.
As Nelson Mandela said: “It always seems impossible, until it is done.”


December 1, 2011



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