North American Windpower
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) hosted a side event at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris to highlight the economic benefits of wind energy in Europe and across the world.
The two-hour session included dual panels made up of industry and policy experts. In the first panel session, Giles Dickson, CEO of EWEA; Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC); and Michael Waldron of the International Energy Agency (IEA) debated the merits of wind power and the progress toward a world powered 100% by renewables.
According to EWEA, Dickson highlighted the cost argument, citing numbers from Bloomberg New Energy Finance showing that onshore wind power is winning the price battle with other technologies - such as gas and coal - based on the levelized cost of electricity.
"Last year, wind power installed more than gas and coal combined in the EU,” he said. “Europe's energy and economic transition is under way. Now politicians must decide whether to accelerate this transition or drag their heels, which would damage investments and job creation."
GWEC's Sawyer discussed the wind industry beyond Europe's borders and highlighted key markets in Mexico, Brazil and South Africa as countries where wind energy will have a significant role to play in the coming years.