REPORT

Capturing Green Recovery Opportunities from Wind Power in Developing Economies

Available in English, Spanish, Portuguese.

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Time and again, the wind industry is demonstrating its pivotal role in supporting thriving local economies through skilled jobs creation and the maintaining of critical infrastructure, while dramatically contributing to reducing carbon emissions and delivering clean, affordable and secure energy.

Ben Backwell, CEO, GWEC

There is a growing body of evidence which shows that wind energy can help governments accelerate a green economic recovery, and form a bedrock for sustainable economic growth in the future. The benefits of wind energy are wide-ranging and expand beyond clean power generation – they include sustainable job creation, public health cost savings which would be spent redressing the impacts of fossil fuel generation, water consumption savings which would otherwise be used for thermal generation, and a significant capital injection in a local value chain. The sector is particularly attractive for emerging economies which need to phase out fossil fuels while maintaining economic growth, meeting fast-growing electricity demand and safeguarding energy security. 

Wind energy has achieved significant cost reduction and technological excellence over the past two decades, establishing it as a proven and market-ready alternative to fossil fuels. While costs might initially be higher in emerging economies where the wind industry is new – due to factors such as less experienced personnel, start-up costs, initial investment uncertainty and lack of established supply chain – these costs can quickly reduce with government commitment, policy certainty and market forces.

This report reflects a study of wind energy potential in emerging economies around the world over the next five years, from 2022-2026, with the aim to highlight the vast and largely unexploited socioeconomic and environmental opportunities attached to wind energy. 

Five emerging economies in particular were selected as country studies: Brazil, India, South Africa, Mexico, and the Philippines.

Accelerated deployment of wind projects will not only support climate action, but help countries to realise a range of benefits from job creation to cleaner air. The study identifies three common barriers facing wind energy deployment in emerging economies and provides recommendations on how these barriers can be overcome.

Key Highlights

Total upside for green recovery measures across the five countries examined include:

  • 2.23 million full-time equivalent jobs over a 25-year lifetime of wind projects

 

  • Nearly 20 GW of additional wind power installations enough to power roughly 25 million homes each year from 2026 onward

 

  • Potentially save the equivalent of 714 million metric tons of CO2 emissions over wind farm lifetimes

Explore Country Data

Business as Usual Scenario

Green Recovery Scenario

FORECASTED CAPACITY

11 GW

Forecasted wind power capacity installed between 2022-2026

16 GW

Forecasted wind power capacity installed between 2022-2026

 

JOB CREATION POTENTIAL

750,000

FTE job years created over the lifetime of wind farms

1,350,000

FTE job years created over the lifetime of wind farms

ECONOMIC IMPACT

US$ 14 billion

Gross Value Added (GVA) to national economies

US$ 22 billion

Gross Value Added (GVA) to national economies

ELECTRICITY PRODUCED

39,300 GWh

Electricity produced per year from 2026

Which is equivalent to:

• 17 million homes powered with clean energy per year

• 11 million electric vehicles powered with clean energy annually from 2026

56,300 GWh

Electricity produced per year from 2026

Which is equivalent to:

• 25 million homes powered with clean energy per year

• 15 million electric vehicles powered with clean energy annually from 2026

EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS

433 million metric tons CO2e

Carbon emissions equivalent saved during the lifetime of the wind farm

Which is equivalent to:

• 94 million cars off the road

• 164 million return flights from Brasilia to Glasgow

• Planting and maintaining 11 million trees for 10 years

615 million metric tons CO2e

Carbon emissions equivalent saved during the lifetime of the wind farm

Which is equivalent to:

• 134 million cars off the road

• 232 million return flights from Brasilia to Glasgow

• Planting and maintaining 16 million trees for 10 years

WATER SAVINGS

74 million litres

Water saved annually from 2026, which would otherwise be used for thermal power generation

106 million litres

Water saved annually from 2026, which would otherwise be used for thermal power generation

Business as Usual Scenario

Green Recovery Scenario

FORECASTED CAPACITY

21.5 GW

Forecasted wind power capacity installed 

(2022-2026)

31.2 GW

Forecasted wind power capacity installed 

(2022-2026)

JOB CREATION POTENTIAL

1,500,00

FTE job years created over the lifetime of wind farms

2,650,000

FTE job years created over the lifetime of wind farms

ECONOMIC IMPACT

US$ 11 billion

Gross Value Added (GVA) to national economies

US$ 18 billion

Gross Value Added (GVA) to national economies

ELECTRICITY PRODUCED

37,800 GWh

Electricity produced per year from 2026

Which is equivalent to:

• 24 million homes powered with clean energy per year

• 10 million electric vehicles powered with clean energy annually from 2026

57,800 GWh

Electricity produced per year from 2026

Which is equivalent to:

• 34 million homes powered with clean energy per year

• 15 million electric vehicles powered with clean energy annually from 2026

EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS

525 million metric tons CO2e

Carbon emissions equivalent saved during the lifetime of the wind farm

Which is equivalent to:

• 114 million cars off the road

• 258 million return flights from New Delhi to Glasgow

• Planting and maintaining 14 million trees for 10 years

754 million metric tons CO2e

Carbon emissions equivalent saved during the lifetime of the wind farm

Which is equivalent to:

• 164 million cars off the road

• 370 million return flights from New Delhi to Glasgow

• Planting and maintaining 20 million trees for 10 years

WATER SAVINGS

71 million litres

Water saved annually from 2026, which would otherwise be used for thermal power generation

103 million litres

Water saved annually from 2026, which would otherwise be used for thermal power generation

Business as Usual Scenario

Green Recovery Scenario

FORECASTED CAPACITY

2.15 GW

Forecasted wind power capacity installed between 2022-2026

4.34 GW

Forecasted wind power capacity installed between 2022-2026

 

JOB CREATION POTENTIAL

125,000

FTE job years created over the lifetime of wind farms

350,000

FTE job years created over the lifetime of wind farms

ECONOMIC IMPACT

US$ 2.5 billion

Gross Value Added (GVA) to national economies

US$ 6 billion

Gross Value Added (GVA) to national economies

ELECTRICITY PRODUCED

7,300 GWh

Electricity produced per year from 2026

Which is equivalent to:

• 4 million homes powered with clean energy per year

• 2 million electric vehicles powered with clean energy annually from 2026

14,800 GWh

Electricity produced per year from 2026

Which is equivalent to:

• 8 million homes powered with clean energy per year

• 4 million electric vehicles powered with clean energy annually from 2026

EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS

88 million metric tons CO2e

Carbon emissions equivalent saved during the lifetime of the wind farm

Which is equivalent to:

• 19 million cars off the road

• 35 million return flights from Mexico City to Glasgow

• Planting and maintaining 2 million trees for 10 years

181 million metric tons CO2e

Carbon emissions equivalent saved during the lifetime of the wind farm

Which is equivalent to:

• 39 million cars off the road

• 72 million return flights from Mexico City to Glasgow

• Planting and maintaining 5 million trees for 10 years

WATER SAVINGS

14 million litres

Water saved annually from 2026, which would otherwise be used for thermal power generation

28 million litres

Water saved annually from 2026, which would otherwise be used for thermal power generation

Business as Usual Scenario

Green Recovery Scenario

FORECASTED CAPACITY

1.15 GW

Forecasted wind power capacity installed between 2022-2026

1.65 GW

Forecasted wind power capacity installed between 2022-2026

 

JOB CREATION POTENTIAL

47,000

FTE job years created over the lifetime of wind farms

80,000

FTE job years created over the lifetime of wind farms

ECONOMIC IMPACT

US$ 700 million

Gross Value Added (GVA) to national economies

US$ 1.1 billion

Gross Value Added (GVA) to national economies

ELECTRICITY PRODUCED

2,500 GWh

Electricity produced per year from 2026

Which is equivalent to:

• 2 million homes powered with clean energy per year

• 700,000 electric vehicles powered with clean energy annually from 2026

3,600 GWh

Electricity produced per year from 2026

Which is equivalent to:

• 3 million homes powered with clean energy per year

• 1 million electric vehicles powered with clean energy annually from 2026

EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS

45 million metric tons

Carbon emissions saved during the lifetime of the wind farm

Which is equivalent to:

• 10 million cars off the road

• 14 million return flights from Manila to Glasgow

• Planting and maintaining 1 million trees for 10 years

65 million metric tons

Carbon emissions saved during the lifetime of the wind farm

Which is equivalent to:

• 14 million cars off the road

• 21 million return flights from Manila to Glasgow

• Planting and maintaining 2 million trees for 10 years

WATER SAVINGS

5 million litres

Water saved annually from 2026, which would otherwise be used for thermal power generation

7 million litres

Water saved annually from 2026, which would otherwise be used for thermal power generation

Business as Usual Scenario

Green Recovery Scenario

FORECASTED CAPACITY

6.5 GW

Forecasted wind power capacity installed between 2022-2026

9 GW

Forecasted wind power capacity installed between 2022-2026

 

JOB CREATION POTENTIAL

500,000

FTE job years created over the lifetime of wind farms

750,000

FTE job years created over the lifetime of wind farms

ECONOMIC IMPACT

US$ 7.3 billion

Gross Value Added (GVA) to national economies

US$ 10.5 billion

Gross Value Added (GVA) to national economies

ELECTRICITY PRODUCED

20,000 GWh

Electricity produced per year from 2026

Which is equivalent to:

• 5 million homes powered with clean energy per year

• 5 million electric vehicles powered with clean energy annually from 2026

27,900 GWh

Electricity produced per year from 2026

Which is equivalent to:

• 7 million homes powered with clean energy per year

• 8 million electric vehicles powered with clean energy annually from 2026

EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS

486 million metric tons CO2e

Carbon emissions equivalent saved during the lifetime of the wind farm

Which is equivalent to:

• 106 million cars off the road

• 160 million return flights from Cape Town to Glasgow

• Planting and maintaining 13 million trees for 10 years

676 million metric tons CO2e

Carbon emissions equivalent saved during the lifetime of the wind farm

Which is equivalent to:

• 147 million cars off the road

• 223 million return flights from Cape Town to Glasgow

• Planting and maintaining 18 million trees for 10 years

WATER SAVINGS

39 million litres

Water saved annually from 2026, which would otherwise be used for thermal power generation

52 million litres

Water saved annually from 2026, which would otherwise be used for thermal power generation

Download the report!

Contacts

Joyce Lee

Head of Policy and Projects [email protected]

Alex Bath

Communications Director
[email protected]

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