In this study, the prospects of wind power at the global level are reviewed. Existing studies indicate that the earth’s wind energy supply potential significantly exceeds global energy demand. Yet, only 1% of the global electricity demand is currently derived from wind power despite 40% annual growth in wind generating capacity over the last 25 years. More than 98% of total current wind power capacity is installed in the developed countries plus China and India. Existing studies estimate that wind power could supply 7% to 34% of global electricity needs by 2050. Wind power faces a large number of technical, financial, institutional, market and other barriers. To overcome these, many countries have employed various policy instruments, including capital subsidies, tax incentives, tradable energy certificates, feed-in tariffs, grid access guarantees and mandatory standards. Besides these policies, climate change mitigation initiatives resulting from the Kyoto Protocol (e.g., CO2-emission reduction targets in developed, the Clean Development Mechanism in developing countries) have played a pivotal role in promoting wind power.


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