The emphasis on renewable energy and concerns about the environment have led to large-scale wind energy penetration worldwide. However, there are also significant challenges associated with the use of wind energy due to the intermittent and unstable nature of wind. High-quality short-term wind speed forecasting is critical to reliable and secure power system operations. This article begins with an overview of the current status of worldwide wind power developments and future trends. It then reviews some statistical short-term wind speed forecasting models, including traditional time series approaches and more advanced space-time statistical models. It also discusses the evaluation of forecast accuracy, in particular, the need for realistic loss functions. New challenges in wind speed forecasting regarding ramp events and offshore wind farms are also presented. © 2012 The Authors. International Statistical Review © 2012 International Statistical Institute.