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EGEB: 2019 was the second-biggest year in history for wind power

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • The world’s wind power grew by nearly one-fifth in 2019 compared to the previous year.
  • The US stimulus package has been finalized. Here’s what’s in it for energy (hint: not a lot).
  • How to make your home more energy-efficient during social distancing.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

The power of wind in 2019

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has published its 15th edition of the Global Wind Report. The world’s wind power grew by 19% in 2019 compared with the previous year, resulting in the second-best year in wind power history. It grew 60.4 gigawatts, compared with 2018.

Total capacity for wind energy globally is now over 651GW, an increase of 10% compared to 2018.

Offshore wind led the way by installing a record 6.1GW, making up 10% of new wind farm installations. China leads in new offshore wind capacity with 2.3GW installed in 2019. The UK remains in the top spot for cumulative offshore wind capacity with 9.7GW, which is nearly one-third of the 29.1GW of total global offshore capacity.

China and the US remain the world’s largest onshore wind markets, together accounting for more than 60% of new capacity in 2019. Europe saw a 30% year-on-year growth for its onshore wind market.

GWEC’s 2020 forecast predicted that wind power would grow, but this will undoubtedly be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, so GWEC will revise its 2020-2024 forecast and publish an updated market outlook in second-quarter 2020.

Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC said:

If we are to have any chance at reaching our Paris Agreement objectives and remaining on a 1.5°C pathway, we need to be installing at least 100GW of wind energy annually over the next decade, and this needs to rise to 200 GW annually post-2030 and beyond.

Final US $2T stimulus package

The US Senate has finalized the $2 trillion stimulus package. And as expected, green energy didn’t get anything. The Hill says the package is also “free of controversial efforts to bolster the oil industry or measures to reduce the carbon footprint of the airline industry that threatened to spark protests on both sides of the aisle.”

There is no bailout for Big Oil. And as the New York Times reported yesterday in their newsletter:

The [stimulus bill] does not include $3 billion for the government to buy oil and fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a provision sought by Republicans and President Trump. But it also does not have an extension of federal tax credits for wind and solar energy that Democrats had tried to attach.

In regards to the aviation industry, the Senate voted unanimously “to give the US aviation industry $58 billion in a coronavirus-rescue package, half in the form of grants to cover some 750,000 employees’ paychecks,” according to Reuters. Aviation environmental protections sought by Democrats were not included in the airlines’ package.

Energy efficiency and social distancing

A lot of people are socially distancing from home now in order to slow the coronavirus. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy published a list of ways to increase energy efficiency as huge numbers of us are on lockdown. It’s good for the environment, and for your wallet. I’ve paraphrased a couple and added tips of my own.

Adjust your thermostat: If it’s cold, lower your heat and put on a sweater. If it’s hot, lower your air conditioning and dress in cooler clothes. And open the windows to let the fresh air in when possible.

Cooking: Use the right-sized cookware for burners and energy-efficient appliances, such as your toaster or microwave oven instead of your conventional oven. And keeping your appliances clean also helps them work more efficiently. Use the energy-efficient setting on your dishwasher, and only run it when it’s full. And don’t stand staring into an open fridge — or freezer — when you’re trying to figure out what you want to eat.

Laundry: Reduce your water temperature, use eco-settings, and run full loads only. If your weather is good, hang your laundry to dry, rather than use your dryer. (Yes, seriously, Americans. The rest of the world does it; I didn’t have a dryer when I lived in the UK for many years and hung my laundry on racks in the house, or on my clothesline outdoors. No big deal.) If you do use your dryer, keep the filter clean.

Television: Don’t leave your TVs running as background noise, and don’t leave them on idle, either. That wastes energy. You’re either watching it, or you’re not.

Lighting: If you’ve got LED lights in the house that haven’t yet been installed, put them in now. Turn off lights if you don’t need them; rely more heavily on natural light. You probably don’t need as many lights on as you think, and encourage your kids to shut off lights. (Going to turn off kitchen light right now, ahem.)

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.