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Report: 2023 a Big Year for Wind Energy Projects

VOA Learning English • voa
April 22, 2024 4 minSource

A new report suggests that the world had its biggest year for new wind power projects in 2023.

The Global Wind Report, published recently by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), a trade group, said the world developed 117 gigawatts of new wind power capacity , a 50 percent increase from 2022.

The report explores the state of the global wind industry and the difficulties it is facing in its growth.

The increase in wind power “shows that the world is moving in the right direction in combating climate change,” the report said.

But the report’s writers warned that the wind industry must increase its yearly growth to at least 320 gigawatts by 2030. That growth would meet terms of the international climate agreement, COP 28.

The deal demands the development of three times more renewable energy generation capacity by 2030. In addition, the agreement aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“It’s great to see wind industry growth picking up, and we are proud of reaching a new annual record,” said GWEC CEO Ben Backwell.

George Aluru is with the Electricity Sector Association of Kenya. The industry group represents private investors in electricity. Aluru said the report shows that wind is becoming better understood around the world for, in his words, “the value it brings as a renewable energy source.”

Renewable energy, including wind power, is considered an important tool for reducing climate change risk. Renewables are the least costly form of electricity in many parts of the world.

The world’s total wind power capacity is around 1,020 gigawatts.

As was the case in 2022, China led all other countries for new wind power stations in 2023, with 65 percent of new operations. The United States came in second, followed by Brazil and Germany. These four countries represent 77 percent of new wind power capacity worldwide last year.

The top five markets at the end of last year were China, the U.S., Germany, India and Spain.

Still, some other countries and areas are coming up the wind energy list, having witnessed record levels of growth in 2023.

Africa and the Middle East established nearly one gigawatt of wind power capacity in 2023, almost three times more than the year before. With upcoming projects in South Africa, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the report predicts that new onshore wind additions for Africa and the Middle East will grow five times by 2028 compared with 2023.

Some of the markets to watch include Kenya, where wind power provides around 17 percent of electricity, the report said. The country has the largest wind farm in Africa, the 310-megawatt Lake Turkana Wind Power Project.

And the report notes plans for new large wind projects in the country, including a one-gigawatt wind park by local power generator KenGen.

I’m John Russell.

Carlos Mureithi reported on this story for the Associated Press. John Russell adapted it for VOA Learning English.

Words in This Story

capacity – n. the amount of something (such as electricity) that can be produced or managed

combat – v. to fight

annual – adj. covering the period of a year

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