Learn more on GWEC’s recommendations to policymakers to scale-up wind power globally and maximise the socioeconomic benefits.
Global Wind Industry Statement on Green Recovery
In May 2020, the global wind industry, representing 98% of the total global onshore wind power installed capacity, plus leading offshore wind industry actors, published a statement highlighting how wind power can support a green recovery, and outlining key policy recommendations to maximise the socioeconomic benefits of wind power across the world.
Discover these policy recommendations as well as additional resources and examples on the page below.
Download the statement in nine different languages!
Investment for a sustainable and resilient future
From 2015 to 2019 alone, wind energy generated over $625bn in investments. Ramping up installed onshore and offshore wind capacity from its current 651 GW (2019) to more than 2,000 GW by 2030 would create additional annual investment of $207bn or over $2tn.
Source: GWEC Market Intelligence
Last updated: 9 December 2020
Introduce meaningful carbon pricing on an international basis and promote a level playing field across energy sources to allow the accelerated deployment of renewables and electrification of sectors such as transport, heating and cooling and industry.
Ensure that adequate investment flows towards critical infrastructure, including power systems and grid infrastructure, at a low cost of finance and with adherence to sustainability standards.
Provide strong support for innovation and R&D programs in order to allow the accelerated deployment of the next generation of wind turbine platforms.
Introduce clear criteria that investment schemes for public and private bodies are built upon the principle of “No Harm” for society and the environment.
Implement evidence-based decision-making for government-backed investment, guided by metrics such as impact on GDP, envrionmental impact, resource depletion, social value and system resilience.
Safeguard institutional and multilateral lending and relief funds by instituting reporting requirements for sustainability and climate-related disclosures, in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
Move swiftly to scale-up green financing for emerging markets and developing economies, which are facing accelerated capital flight and growing debt that hinders their clean energy transition.
There are currently 64 carbon pricing initiatives, covering 46 national jurisdictions and around 22% of global greenhouse gas emissions globally. In November 2020, Vietnam became the latest country to mandate a domestic emissions trading scheme.
The European Commission’s EUR560 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility for financial support in green and digital transformations across Member States, with priority to rolling out wind and renewable energy projects and a “massive renovation wave” of buildings and infrastructure in line with a circular economy.
The latest Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) status report, dated October 2020, highlights the need for greater transparency and climate-related disclosures. The report also shows that energy companies are leading on disclosure, with
an average level of TCFD-aligned disclosures of 40% for energy companies in 2019.
In light of the financial resources required to combat COVID-19, the IMF approved a six-month tranche of debt service relief for 25 member countries in April 2020, followed by a second six-month tranche of relief in October 2020. The World Bank Group and IMF have urged G20 countries to establish a Debt Service Suspension Initiative.
Source: https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2020/10/02/pr20304-imf-executive-board-extends-immediate-debt-service-relief-28-eligible-lics-six-months; https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/debt/brief/covid-19-debt-service-suspension-initiative
In November 2020, the NSW Government in Australia announced it would allocate $32 billion to invest in renewable energy infrastructure over the next decade, which will deliver around 12 GW of new transmission capacity, 3 GW of new renewable energy capacity, generate 9,100 jobs, as well as help save households an average of $130 on their electricity bills each year.
The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) is pushing for a green economic recovery plan, which should consider renewable energy as one of the main components of the government economic stimulus package post-COVID-19.
The Canadian government’s Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) provides bridge financing to companies with revenues in excess of $300 million a year, with recipient companies required to commit to publishing annual climate-related disclosure reports consistent with the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, including how their future operations will support environmental sustainability and national climate goals.
Colombian President Ivan Duque announces a new roadmap for his country’s economic recovery with the transition to renewable energy as a key pillar.
Source: https://idm.presidencia.gov.co/prensa/Paginas/Con-el-nuevo-Compromiso-por-el-Futuro-de-Colombia-el-pais-esta-haciendo-las-grandes-apuestas-Duque-200820.aspx; https://www.iisd.org/sustainable-recovery/news/sustainable-recovery-in-colombia-president-underlines-ambitions/
“Will COVID-19 fiscal recovery packages accelerate or retard progress on climate change?” Hepburn, C., O’Callaghan, B., Stern, N., Stiglitz, J., and Zenghelis, D. (2020), Smith School Working Paper 20-02.
“A Toolbox for Sustainable Crisis Response Measures for Central Banks and Supervisors“. Grantham Research Insititue on Climate Change and the Environment, The Centre for Sustainable Finance at SOAS, and INSPIRE. June 2020.
An enabling environment for clean energy
Each $1 spent to advance the global energy transition will bring a return of $3 to $8 – meaning the investment will pay for itself, if done right.
Last updated: 9 December 2020
Implement regulation that is fit for purpose, including market design that provides long-term visibility and streamlined permitting that enables rapid ramp up of deployment.
Safeguard existing and awarded wind projects, avoid retroactive changes to approved remuneration schemes, and secure continuation of planned clean energy auctions.
Create adequate frameworks to allow extensive and efficient repowering of older wind power plants.
Enable and promote end-consumer 100% renewable energy demand in order to allow corporates to ramp up and meet their sustainability objectives. Remove regulatory barriers where these exist in order to enable corporates to freely purchase renewable energy.
Dis-incentivise investment in polluting, expensive and aging fossil fuel assets by introducing pricing mechanisms which reflect the true economic, social, environmental and health costs of fossil fuel generation and completely phase-out fossil fuel subsidies.
Accelerate net-zero commitments, carbon budgets, carbon pricing, and science-based approaches among government bodies and corporates as they announce their economic recovery plans.
Increase ambitions to decarbonise all economic sectors through electrification.
Reject proposals to dilute or recall legislation for environmental protection.
In March 2020, India issued “Must Run” status for wind farms to ensure that wind projects can continue to run as an essential service, and granted a time extension for the scheduled commissioning dates of wind projects, in light of pandemic-related delays.
Members of the wind industry are calling for repowering regulations to be streamlined across Europe, allowing older wind farms to be refitted with a reduced number of modern and more efficient turbines. This would extend project lifetimes so that clean energy growth can continue, and progress towards renewable energy capacity targets can be sustained.
Source: https://windeurope.org/newsroom/press-releases/what-happens-when-wind-turbines-get-old-new-industry-guidance-document-for-dismantling-and-decommissioning/; https://www.rechargenews.com/wind/distance-rules-a-big-downside-to-repowering-potential-rwe-renewables-dotzenrath/2-1-922226
Nigeria ended subsidies on gasoline in 2020, saving the government as much as US$2.6 billion per year.
In 2020, governments in China, Japan, South Korea, Hungary and South Africa made pledges to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 or 2060. Commitments to reach net zero emissions from regional governments and businesses have doubled in 2020, compared to 2019. These commitments will require comprehensive policy frameworks which emphasise sustainable growth and science-based approaches for successful implementation.
In November 2020, the UK set out its “Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution” which advances offshore wind, accelerates the shift to zero emission electric transport and supports electrified heating to decarbonise buildings.
In April 2020, China announced that it would extend current subsidies for electric vehicles until the end of 2022 as well as strengthen policy frameworks around the electrification of transport to increase uptake and demand for electric vehicles.
The state-owned NTPC in India announced in September 2020 that it will no longer acquire land for greenfield coal-fuelled power projects as part of its pivot to renewable energy.
The Japanese government has allocated one billion JPY for building a decarbonised regional system for delivery goods (logistics), increasing the local demand for electricity produced by renewable energy.
India’s power ministry extended the waiver of inter-state transmission systems (ISTS) charges and losses on supply of power generated from wind and solar until 30 June 2023.
Empowerment of people to drive the energy transition forward
Offshore wind creates demand for a wide range of components and services, leading to new jobs and local economic development. A 500 MW offshore wind project has a direct employment effect of about 2.1 million days of work, or 10,000 full-time jobs, over its 25-year project lifetime.
Source: Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition (OREAC)
Last updated: 9 December 2020
Capitalise on the enormous potential for the wind energy industry to create direct and indirect jobs by prioritising renewable energy for investment.
Re-skill workers who may be dislocated from sectors with a declining business case for employment in a growing sector like offshore wind.
Commit to a just and inclusive energy transition by ensuring that recovery plans focus on equitable distribution of resources, training and skills development across genders, minority groups and marginalised communities.
Maintain health and safety as a core pillar of wind energy and workforce planning.
South Korea’s Green New Deal, introduced in 2020, commits around US$61 billion to boost wind and renewable energy capacity and expand the green mobility sector by 2025.
In December 2020, the Global Wind Organisation (GWO) and RenewableUK launched a new training programme to fast-track the transition of skilled workers from the offshore oil and gas sector to the offshore wind sector.
In June 2020, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development launched a just transition initiative to share the benefits of a green economy transition and protect vulnerable countries, regions and people from falling behind.
The “Green Collar” portal is a new initiative set up in October 2020 that lists jobs in the environmental sector in South East Asia, from renewable energy to sustainable agriculture, to highlight opportunities for meaningful ‘green’ employment as countries try to revive economies hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Queensland government in Australia announced a $17 million grant as part of COVID-19 stimulus packages to establish a new “state-of-the-art” renewable energy training facility in Brisbane to provide training for 750 apprentices a year and create new green jobs.
Accelerating renewables could bring 3 million jobs to Latin America as region battles COVID-19. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) will boost ties to put the renewables driven energy transformation at the heart of Latin America and the Caribbean’s economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak.