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For more than 3,500 years, wind turbines have supplied mankind with power. In the context of the transition towards a low carbon economy, wind power has the potential to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions significantly and become a major modern and sustainable energy source. Wind power is free, inexhaustible, and secure. Wind turbine operation needs no fuel, emits no carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions or residues, can be installed quickly (once permits are obtained), and allows total site restoration when decommissioned.
The advantage of wind technology is that it is ready to be deployed on a massive scale at reasonable low costs. Wind power is a mature technology that has already achieved competitiveness on land in circumstances where the cost of carbon is reflected to some extent and where the wind resource is of high quality and is close to overall competitiveness with conventional electricity generation. Costs are expected be further reduced by massive, policy-driven deployment, which allows for increasing market pull, technology progress and economies of scale. Support costs are offset by the external costs of inaction, including environmental, climate change and healthcare costs. Additional benefits that result from investing in wind technology include long-term energy security, avoided costs of energy imports, economic growth and new jobs in dynamic renewable energy markets, spillover innovation effects in the whole economy, and know-how transfer and investments in developing markets.