The Global Wind Energy Council in partnership with industry stakeholders have released a statement highlighting the crucial role of wind power in helping economies to recover from COVID-19.
The statement reveals key policy actions required to enable governments to realise sustainable economic recovery.
The wind energy industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world and could create nearly 4 million direct and indirect jobs, as well as between $207 billion and $2 trillion additional annual investments if wind capacity rises above 2TW.
Industry stakeholders have urged governments, intergovernmental bodies, and global lending institutions to put wind energy investment at the centre of their economic recovery and growth plans.
Investing in renewables would enable the creation of infrastructure of the future to build more resilient and sustainable economies, while providing countries and citizens with more affordable energy, lower carbon emissions, greater energy security, and alleviating debt burden on young people.
Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented social and economic impact around the world, and how we recover from the crisis depends on the actions that we all take over the coming months. We have the opportunity here to ‘re-build back better’, help kick-start sustainable economic recovery, and build the energy infrastructure of the future.”
“Young people in particular will bear the financial, social, health and environmental costs of the stimulus plans now being designed, and carry the debt associated with this spending, so we must make sure they are able to benefit from today’s decisions. At the same time, governments should establish a principle of “no harm” for economic stimulus spending and ensure that this does go to reviving fossil fuel industries which need to be phased out to achieve the energy transition and head off the threat of dangerous and irreversible climate change.”
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Morten Dyrholm, Chair at GWEC and Group SVP, Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs at Vestas commented: “The wind sector is one of the world’s most promising industries. Policies and investment frameworks that further advance this industry is therefore central to boost growth as our economies recover. Not only can our industry support millions of jobs and billions in investment, but the immense benefits that wind energy can bring to society as a whole, such as affordable power, cleaner air and resilient infrastructure, means that the return on investment for wind makes it a logical choice for countries seeking green recovery after the pandemic”.
Giles Dickson, CEO at WindEurope added: “The long-term impact of COVID-19 depends on the political action we take now. In Europe the Green Deal offers the route to economic recovery. Jobs, growth and sustainability – a clear vision for all countries to pursue. Governments should align their recovery packages with climate goals and invest in the job-creating potential of onshore and offshore wind. Their economies will bounce back stronger and more resilient”.
Wind energy sector stakeholders who have endorsed the statement include Vestas, Siemens Gamesa, Iberdrola, Orsted, WindEurope and American, Chinese, Brazilian, Mexican, South African and Russian Wind Energy Associations.
The full statement can be found here.