Interview: Steve Sawyer, GWEC

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Q. You have been observing the emergence of wind markets around the world for many years. How has the industry changed over the years as it has matured? Have the newer markets (especially those in Latin America) learnt from the best practices (and the mistakes) of others?

A. Just the fact of now being an established global industry means that the perception, and hence the treatment received, relationship with authorities, etc., has changed and matured. It’s more of a straightforward business proposition, although there are always new challenges in new markets.

I think the key actors in newer markets tend to study the established markets very intently; and they learn a lot on the technical side. But the political and regulatory reality is quite different in each country, as are the prevailing macroeconomic conditions, electricity market conditions and somewhere between 50 and 150 years of a national electricity system with all of its particular characteristics.

As I get older, I’m not sure that humans learn from other people’s mistakes…they generally have to make them themselves!