Wind can be frustrating to deal with. It ruins umbrellas and can turn your backyard into a mess. But the wind also presents a huge opportunity. We’re talking millions of dollars’ worth of opportunity.
Wind energy is one of the most promising energy sources of the future. It already accounts for a large share of Australia’s clean energy production and has the potential to become one of the main sources of power generally – both here at home, but also around the globe.
As a renewable energy source, wind power has several interesting and unique advantages.
Here are 10 things you didn’t know about wind energy.
1. Wind energy is getting cheaper every day
One of the myths around wind energy is that it’s expensive to produce. Wind energy is actually one of the cheapest renewable energy sources available.
And it’s getting even cheaper.
According to the Australia Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the price of wind energy is expected to deliver electricity at around $50-65/MWh in 2020 and below $50/MWh in 2030.
2. Wind energy already accounts for over a third of Australia’s clean energy
Wind energy currently accounts for over 35% of Australia’s renewable energy production, and 7% of Australia’s total energy consumption. While 7% is relatively low, there are big plans for the future of wind power in Australia. Large projects in the pipeline are expected to add to Australia’s renewable energy capacity, and being the cheapest to produce, wind power is one of the main sources driving clean energy in the future.
3. Wind energy is better for the environment and the economy
Climate change is accelerating global temperatures and causing major destruction to the planet’s ecosystem and biodiversity. The United Nations estimates that global average temperatures are set to breach the goal of stating below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
Wind power is an emission-free source of energy, meaning it has a minimal to low carbon footprint and does not contribute to greenhouse gasses.
In fact, wind turbines offset the energy used to create them in less than one year – making them an excellent investment both financially as well and environmentally. Wind power is also good for the economy as a whole. It’s estimated that shifting to green energies like wind power could inject 26 trillion USD into the economy before 2030.
4. Wind power will create thousands of jobs
Australia’s wind power sector is experiencing a fast uptick in investment and job opportunities. According to Australia’s Climate Council, the renewable energy industry will result in 28,000 new local jobs – a 50% increase compared to a ‘business as usual’ scenario. This is backed up by the Australia Institute, which estimates between 18,000 and 59,000 jobs will be created between now and 2030.
5. Offshore wind generation is taking off
When you picture a wind farm it’s often in a field or on top of a range of hills. Offshore wind power is an innovative way of collecting power by using the predictably strong winds that occur around Australia’s lengthy coastline. Offshore wind farms have the added benefit that they’re often invisible from the land and take advantage of strong daily and seasonal wind patterns.
6. Wind power can solve electricity problems for remote communities
Remote and regional communities often face difficulties with access to power. Wind power can solve this problem. As a self-sustaining resource, there will always be enough wind to power homes and communities that would otherwise have to rely on more expensive electricity sources.
7. Height and positioning of wind turbines is essential
You can’t just place a wind turbine anywhere and hope that it will generate serious power. Wind turbines need to be strategically positioned to make the most out of local wind patterns and take into account the geographical location. Wind projects that are well researched and strategically implemented will be able to deliver more power, more efficiently.
8. Australia’s wind capacity is increasing every year
The wind energy sector is growing rapidly. In 2020, 1097-megawatt capacity was installed in multiple wind farms around the country. That’s up from the 837-megawatt capacity in 2019. Some predictions forecast that by 2050 Australia could be 86% powered by renewables – mainly wind and solar.
9. Big projects are planned across Australia
Wind energy projects are popping up all across Australia with a few notable projects in the pipeline. One of the largest wind-projects the world has ever seen is planned for Western Australia with the development of the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH). This large project will produce up to 11 Gigawatts of electricity, 7,5 GW of which will be generated by wind.
10. Wind energy growth means growth all round
All major renewable energy projects require a trusted implementing and installation partner. With high investments and job growth expected over the next decade – companies like Vermeer are set to boost their renewable energy capability – supplying renewable energy contractors around Australia with renewable energy equipment and tools they need to meet the surging demand. Get in contact with your local renewable energy partner to see how you can take advantage of this expanding industry.