Wind power has a long history - boats were propelled down the Nile in ancient Egypt by it, windmills came into existence thousands of years ago in China and wind turbines first appeared in Denmark around 1890. Wind power is primarily a utility-scale technology, with hundreds of turbines erected in huge wind farms.There are already hundreds of active wind farms across the globe. Even so wind power still makes up only about 1% of the world's total energy use. Wind is the fastest growing of all the renewable energies. Europe in particular, has built a flourishing wind industry in the last 10 years.
The UK believes offshore wind can provide 25% of the country's electricity demand by 2020. But this is dwarfed by China's wind power ambitions of 100 gigawatts by 2020!
According to the Department of the environment, wind resources in the U.S. can provide 5,800 quads of energy each year. That's about 15 times the current global energy demand! By 2030 wind projects could be providing 20% of all U.S electricity demand.
Government support in China, USA and the new coaltition government in the UK is providing fertile ground for opportunity. Billions of Euros have already been spent on installing onshore windfarms in Europe over the past decade. But now attention is turning to offshore windfarms. GE plans to invest $453 million in offshore wind technology in Europe until 2020. Other major companies investing heavily in wind power are: Statoil, RWE AG,Centrica Plc,Siemens AG and Vestas Wind Systems.
The cleantech revolution is a huge undertaking and there are massive opportunities for those who invest, for the long term in the companies that will facilitate these massive offshore wind projects.