It seems the answer to the world’s energy woes could actually be blowin’ in the wind, as worldwide wind power production nearly doubled last year. In 2014, 51,477 megawatts-worth of wind capacity was installed around the global, which amounts to a 44 percent increase over the previous year’s totals.
The numbers from 2014 bring the total global wind power capacity up to 369,553 megawatts, a number that took humanity about 40 years to reach. Last year’s total is about one seventh of that number, giving a good indication of the scale of wind power’s growth in recent times.
As Treehugger reports, “This means that, in theory, even without acceleration in the rate of growth, we could double wind capacity during the next seven years.” The green news outlet speculates that the figure would double again in just five years.
While wind had a good year in 2014 and appears to be quickly on the rise, Treehugger notes that solar growth has been outpacing wind power in recent years and will likely be the long-term winner of the green power race due to the lower manufacturing and installation cost of solar panels, as compared to wind turbines.
On top of that, solar power is likely to get continually cheaper on the back of a principle known as Swanson’s Law that states: “with every doubling of production and shipments of panels, there has been a 20 percent reduction in the cost of panels.”
Either way, this is one race where it doesn’t really matter who comes in first because everybody wins.