A rising determinant of global energy supply is large-scale wind energy. Worldwide energy consumption continues to rapidly increase due to economic and population growth. Between 1973 and 2006, the total primary energy supply for all uses almost doubled and electricity generation had more than tripled. A large portion came from fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil; these figures were according to International Energy Agency (IEA). Wind energy generation represent approximately 1.25% of the world’s energy demand by the end of 2008 with a total installed capacity equal to 120GW and electricity generation equal to 250TWh.
These numbers are expected to continue to keep growing. By 2050, wind energy production is expected to account for around 4.2–5.8 % of global demand, even while assuming a conservative rate of growth. According to advanced scenarios proposed by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC.
Wind energy generation currently meets approximately 4.2% of the electricity demand within the EU as a whole and saves an estimated 100 million tons of CO2 per year Led by strong development in North America, Europe and Asia, global total installed capacity grew by 36% in 2008 alone. The USA has the largest installed capacity and eclipsed Germany. While the Chinese market again expanded strongly with a doubling of installed capacity Responsible for around 400,000 jobs, generally, the global market in 2008 was estimated to be worth around €36.5 billion.
In late 2008 while the effects of the global recession also began to bite, this is expected to be no more than a passing glitch in the rapid growth of the wind-energy industry. However, large-scale wind energy is not the only source of energy that is expanding. According to AWEA (American Wind Energy Association), the world market for small scale wind project has grown even faster. They have experienced a growth of more than 50% in 2008 with almost 40MW of turbines rated at a capacity of 100kW or lower coming on-stream. Out of these, 28MW were rated at less than 50kW, which is the common size in the wind classification.
A distinct small wind market has emerged over the past few years even though the small wind accounts for just over 0.1% of global growth in installed wind energy capacity in 2008 (27GW). It is attracting attention, particularly in the largest markets of the US and UK. Between 2005 and 2009 alone, over 20,000 systems were installed in the UK.
A recent long-term financial incentive introduced by the federal government could increase the size of the US market by as much as 30-fold over the next 5 years, predicts AWEA. According to BWEA (British Wind Energy Association) in the UK, the small wind industry is already responsible for almost 1900 jobs. It is likely to grow rapidly for the foreseeable future while the small wind sector remains very small in global terms. The BWEA predicts that by 2020, small wind alone will provide 5,800 jobs in the UK and more than 10,000 by 2040.
Architects are integrating wind energy (and other forms of renewable energy) into the design of new buildings as part of other emerging special wind energy projects. A new type of designers and engineers will be required for this type of thinking.