Global Wind Day, marked every year on June 15 since 2007, is dedicated to the research of wind, its power, and its potential to reshape energy systems, decarbonize economies, and boost growth around the world. Global Wind Day 2023 celebrates the 1 TW milestone that the world’s wind power capacity is set to pass by the end of the year.
Global Wind Day was established by WindEurope and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), who were later joined by national associations and companies in various segments of the wind industry, organizing a series of events around the world.
The horizontal movement of the air, also known as wind, is an important phenomenon that has been used throughout history in many ways. Wind as a source of energy was discovered by ancient Egyptians almost 6,000 years ago.
Wind energy is obtained by harnessing the kinetic energy of air currents with wind turbines, structures oriented in the direction of the wind. They capture the force of wind, convert it into mechanical rotational energy and then, thanks to a generator, into electrical energy. This energy is then fed through cables to a transformer substation, which in turn transfers it to the distribution networks to supply end consumers.
The first wind turbines were 120 meters tall and were installed on land (onshore). Four decades later, wind turbines had reached 220 meters and were fixed to the bottom of the sea (offshore). Innovation has advanced so much that we now have floating wind turbines and can soon expect to see offshore wind catching systems.
Wind energy covers 5% of the global demand for electricity. In the European Union (EU), that share is 17%, and the European Commission projects it will grow to as much as 50% by 2050.
From propelling ships to 1 terawatt of energy capacity
The use of wind energy has come a long way from propelling ships and power windmills. Today it looks like wind will play a key role and help the world achieve net zero emissions and decarbonize industry.
Last year, a total of 78 GW of wind farms were connected around the world, increasing the total installed capacity to 907 GW. By the end of 2023, according to GWEC, the global wind capacity will exceed 1 TW, an important milestone that will be celebrated in London and around the world. The 2 TW milestone is expected to be passed by the end of this decade, according to GWEC.
The five biggest markets in terms of new wind capacity installed in 2022 were China, the United States, Brazil, Germany, and Sweden.