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Newsletter Editorial: Building a Sustainable Wind Industry For The Energy Transition

The world is waking up to the realisation that we now have only a short time to take action to head off a disastrous rise in global temperatures and to preserve a liveable planet. And in order achieve this, that a wholesale energy transition needs to be carried out on an urgent basis. “We have 10 years” to get things right and on the correct pathway of decarbonisation and deployment of renewable energy, GWEC’s Chairman Morten Dyrholm pointed out to a recent Ministerial Conference on Renewable Energy Integration in Berlin.

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Winds of change are blowing in Africa

The African continent is set for growth, the population is expected to grow by 1.4% each year until 2030. GDP is expected to grow by 4%. This development is demanding huge investments in infrastructure including the energy markets to keep up with the growth, access to electricity being one of the main challenges African citizens consider to encompass and unlock their growth path. African governments have acknowledged that growth can only be supported through sustainable solutions, which means an obvious opportunity for wind energy. Offering a cost-competitive solution, wind energy has the potential to drive not only the electrification level in Africa (currently only 43% of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to electricity according to the World Energy Outlook 2018 from IEA), but to also support the economic growth and development of African markets. 

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The Growth of the Global Offshore Wind Market Will Be Driven by Asia

Offshore wind is now contributing more and more to the growth of the wind industry as a whole. Asia is set to become a leader in offshore wind, with 100 GW of offshore capacity to be installed until 2030.

Looking beyond 2030, GWEC expects that offshore wind will play a significant role in the energy transition. As more and more markets enter the offshore industry and innovative technology such as floating solutions became mainstreamed, offshore wind will only continue to become more and more cost-competitive. With its large scale, offshore wind has the real opportunity to replace traditional energy sources, contributing to a global green economy.

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Market to Watch: Vietnam Offshore Wind

Offshore wind is distinguished from conventional renewable energy sources in many ways, and will be an important driver of the global energy transition in the coming decades. The vast majority of installations to date are concentrated in the European region but countries in East Asia and North America are demonstrating greater interest and ambition in significantly ramping up their deployment of offshore wind in the near future. However, key challenges in government policy need to be urgently resolved in order to develop a supportive system for offshore wind. Recognizing and clearing these obstacles will allow Vietnam to capture the enthusiasm and investment from industry, create local and sustainable economic value, lower its carbon emissions and assume a leading role in the energy transition in South East Asia.

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Global Gender Survey of the Wind Energy Industry

GWEC announced today a global survey which will provide new insights on the roles and representation of women in the wind sector. This survey is being managed by IRENA and the Women in Wind Global Leadership Program, which is co-organized by GWEC and GWNET. The survey is open to all organizations and individuals (including women and men) working in wind energy.

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Market to watch: China

China is the world’s largest wind power market in both new and cumulative installations. In 2018, the country installed 20.2 GW of onshore wind and 1.6 GW of offshore wind, representing 44% and 37% of global market share respectively.

China will end subsidies for new onshore wind power projects at the start of 2021, with renewable projects set to compete on an equal footing with coal- and gas-fired electricity, the country’s state planning agency announced.

Altogether, China continues to be on track to lead the transition from traditional energy sources such as coal, to wind and other renewables – and they are proving that this transition can now be subsidy-free!

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GWEC to expand its local team in China

In order to provide professional services to our members and support the GWEC activities in the world’s largest wind market, GWEC has recently expanded our local team in China by adding Mr. Wanliang Liang as our new China Director.

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Alyssa Pek

alyssa.pek@gwec.net