GE Renewable Energy has been selected to supply equipment for the 87MW Taza wind farm in Morocco.
GE Renewable Energy has been selected to supply equipment for the 87MW Taza wind farm in Morocco. Image credit: 123rf.

The wind sector is a key building block for economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19, which will enable governments to renew critical infrastructure for a sustainable future.

This is according to a statement released by Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), which has been signed by major wind industry corporates and associations across the world highlighting wind power’s role in the global economic recovery following the COVID-19 crisis and laying out the key policy actions that must be put into motion in order to realise a sustainable economic recovery.

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The statement maintains that the wind industry will help to deliver jobs, clean and affordable power and energy security needed for a sustainable economic recovery.

Calling on governments, intergovernmental bodies, and global lending institutions, the statement suggests key actions policy makers can take to put wind energy investment at the centre of their economic recovery and growth plans with three overarching themes: investment for a sustainable and resilient future, an enabling environment for clean energy, and empowerment of people to drive the energy transition forward.

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.”

He added: “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.”

Wind sector, a promising industry  

Morten Dyrholm, the 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.

Dyrholm further highlighted that the industry will not only support millions of jobs and billions in investment, also 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 logic 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.”

The statement has been signed by the major corporates in the wind sector including Vestas, Siemens Gamesa, Iberdrola, Mingyang Smart Energy, MHI Vestas, Acciona, Nordex, ReNew Power, EDPR, ZF, Orsted, Goldwind, and Envision. It is also signed by wind and renewable energy associations such as WindEurope, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Chinese Wind Energy Association (CWEA), Brazilian Wind Energy Association (ABEEolica), Mexican Wind Energy Association (AMDEE), RES4Africa, South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA), Russian Association of Wind Power Industry (RAWI), Japan Renewable Energy Institute (REI), SER Colombia, Mongolian Wind Energy Association (MONWEA), and the Turkish Wind Energy Association (TUREB/TWEA).

 The full statement can be found here.