Next Article in Journal
Drought Coincided with, but Does Not Explain, Late Holocene Megafauna Extinctions in SW Madagascar
Previous Article in Journal
Shortwave Irradiance (1950 to 2020): Dimming, Brightening, and Urban Effects in Central Arizona?
Previous Article in Special Issue
Challenges and Opportunities of Coal Phase-Out in Western Macedonia
Article

Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Wind Energy

1
Sibley School for Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
2
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Dalia Streimikiene and Tomas Baležentis
Climate 2021, 9(9), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090136
Received: 30 July 2021 / Revised: 19 August 2021 / Accepted: 25 August 2021 / Published: 28 August 2021
Global wind resources greatly exceed current electricity demand and the levelized cost of energy from wind turbines has shown precipitous declines. Accordingly, the installed capacity of wind turbines grew at an annualized rate of about 14% during the last two decades and wind turbines now provide ~6–7% of the global electricity supply. This renewable electricity generation source is thus already playing a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector. Here we document trends within the industry, examine projections of future installed capacity increases and compute the associated climate change mitigation potential at the global and regional levels. Key countries (the USA, UK and China) and regions (e.g., EU27) have developed ambitious plans to expand wind energy penetration as core aspects of their net-zero emissions strategies. The projected climate change mitigation from wind energy by 2100 ranges from 0.3–0.8 °C depending on the precise socio-economic pathway and wind energy expansion scenario followed. The rapid expansion of annual increments to wind energy installed capacity by approximately two times current rates can greatly delay the passing of the 2 °C warming threshold relative to pre-industrial levels. To achieve the required expansion of this cost-effective, low-carbon energy source, there is a need for electrification of the energy system and for expansion of manufacturing and installation capacity. View Full-Text
Keywords: wind turbines; temperature change; avoided emissions; greenhouse gas emissions; renewable energy wind turbines; temperature change; avoided emissions; greenhouse gas emissions; renewable energy
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Barthelmie, R.J.; Pryor, S.C. Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Wind Energy. Climate 2021, 9, 136. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090136

AMA Style

Barthelmie RJ, Pryor SC. Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Wind Energy. Climate. 2021; 9(9):136. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090136

Chicago/Turabian Style

Barthelmie, Rebecca J., and Sara C. Pryor. 2021. "Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Wind Energy" Climate 9, no. 9: 136. https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090136

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop