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The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), a Belgium-headquartered promoter of wind energy development worldwide, and Greenpeace International, a nonprofit organization that focuses on the planet's environment, have released the "Global Wind Energy Outlook 2006" report, which examines the future potential for wind power up to the year 2050.

The report shows the increasing use of wind power from 1995 to 2005 - in 1995 there was a total of 4,800 MW of wind power installed worldwide, and by the end of 2005, 59,000 MW had been achieved. The report claims that wind power has the potential to supply 16.5% of the world's electricity by 2020 and 34% by 2050. It also indicates that wind power could save 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2020.

"Wind power will significantly reduce CO2 emissions, which is key in the fight against dangerous climate change," says Sven Teske of Greenpeace International. "The required CO2 reduction of one-third by 2020 and half by 2050 can only be achieved if wind power plays a major role in the power sector." The organizations add that wind still needs continued support from government officials.

The report examines the use of wind by region and country. A copy of "Global Wind Energy Outlook 2006" can be downloaded at http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/globalwindenergyoutlook.pdf



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