The world’s wind power giants told governments they can spur up to $2trn of extra investments and create four million jobs if the industry is put at the heart of post-coronavirus economic recovery plans.
A roll-call of the sector’s leaders, between them active in every major market, said wind can be a “key building block” as economies look to bounce back from downturns.
The jobs and investment bonanza – $207bn extra annually, or more than $2trn in total by 2030 – would come if wind is pushed to 2,000GW of total capacity up from 651GW at the end of 2019.
Jobs could more than triple to four million direct and indirect posts by the end of the decade from 1.2 million in 2018, said an open letter from companies and organisations active in the sector.
That would include initiatives to re-skill workers in declining sectors such as oil & gas to work in growing areas like offshore wind.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the wind industry has stressed to governments the importance of growing the sector, as well as holding onto the high-value jobs it already supports.
The US, for example, has seen warnings of heavy job losses if planned projects stall as a result of delays caused by coronavirus disruption.
Vestas, Siemens Gamesa, Iberdrola, Ming Yang, MHI Vestas, Acciona, Nordex, ReNew Power, EDPR, ZF, Orsted, Goldwind and Envision were all on the list of signatories, along with a range of regional wind bodies.
Morten Dyrholm, chair of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) chair and group SVP marketing, communications and public affairs at Vestas said: “Not only can our industry support millions of jobs and billions in investment, but the immense benefits that wind energy can bring to society as a whole, such as affordable power, cleaner air and resilient infrastructure.”
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson added:“Governments should align their recovery packages with climate goals and invest in the job-creating potential of onshore and offshore wind. Their economies will bounce back stronger and more resilient.”