Global Wind Day: Moving Toward a Smart Grid

Wind energy has seen a lot of positive momentum over the past few years in a global effort to help facilitate change in the energy infrastructure. With over $100 billion invested in wind energy in 2014 alone, this technology is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. Today we’re celebrating Global Wind Day by looking at the innovation that has happened in this sector and taking a peek at what is yet to come.

Over the years, wind energy has seen some dramatic changes. In the 1980s, California was the hub of all wind energy with 90 percent of the world’s installed wind energy capacity. Now, countries such as China, Germany, Spain, India, and the United States have all shifted a substantial percentage of energy needs toward wind. In just a short 12-year period between 2000 and 2012, wind energy has increased over 16 times to more than 282,000 MW of operating wind capacity.

Scientists across the globe are continuing to tap into this technology in order to produce higher efficiency levels at lower price points. Take a look at the work some of our scientists are doing in the sector:

Environmentally, wind power has the potential to alleviate some the current climate issues. Power produced by wind turbines emits zero greenhouse gasses and consumes virtually no water.

“Climate change is happening faster than expected, but so is the transition to renewable energy. As businesses become increasingly aware of the progress in technology and falling costs we are seeing a rapid change in investment patterns” said Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council.

During the upcoming 228th ECS Meeting, the Society will be facilitating the Electrochemical Energy Summit (E2S) in order to foster an exchange between leading policy makers and energy experts about society needs and technological energy solutions.

If scientists continue to produce breakthroughs in wind energy at the current pace, industry experts believe that wind power could provide one third of the world’s electricity needs by 2050.

Find out more about the trajectory of the energy infrastructure by listening to our podcasts with world leaders in energy such as the National Renewable Energy Lab’s John A. Turner and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Subhash C. Singhal.

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