Spencer Ogden is today celebrating Global Wind Day, a day that promotes wind energy, its power and the possibilities it holds to reshape our energy systems, decarbonise our economies and boost jobs and growth.
A total of 591GW of wind capacity is now installed globally across 91 countries with steady growth in mature and emerging markets playing a significant role in fulfilling the increasing global energy demand.
The wind industry installed 93GW of new capacity in 2020, a 53% year-on-year increase with the market nearly quadrupling in size over the past decade.
The growth was particularly boosted by a number of key offshore projects that have begun or are planning to begin later this year. The market in the US also has potential to grow exponentially with Joe Biden’s pledge to get sustainable energy back on the agenda.
Speaking ahead of the day, Global Wind Energy Council chief executive Ben Backwell stated
“It is now a clear choice for companies to invest more and more in wind energy, and we are tangibly seeing this shift happen with investment in renewable energy more than doubling investments in fossil fuels in the power sector last year.
“As we see more investment in wind power, we will also see a decrease in carbon emissions, the creation of local jobs, an increase in access to electricity worldwide, greater energy security as the need for fuel imports reduces, and local economic development.
“Wind power is therefore key to meet both the world’s development and climate goals.”
The impressive market developments including recent accelerated moves of the largest Oil and Gas firms into the sector was analysed in Spencer Ogden's Future of Renewables Report earlier this year. Henry De Lusignan, Spencer Ogden Americas Director commented:
"Last year the genuine strategic shifts towards renewable energy production at the expense of the oil and gas sector was notable. Indeed, for the first time ever, a renewable energy firm, led by its large wind operation has surpassed one of the energy giants in market value, with NextEra Energy overtaking ExxonMobil in what is a truly defining moment for sustainable energy."
Max Nicholson, who heads up Spencer Ogden's UK wind division added:
"The shift of some of the oil and gas super majors is something that is being received with positive anticipation - These companies can bring a real financial and technological fire power to the industry and really take offshore wind in particular to the next level."
However, a recent GWEC report suggested that the current rate of wind power deployment will not be enough to achieve the desired carbon neutrality by the middle of this century. Scenarios that have been established state a minimum of 180GW of new wind needs to be installed every year to limit global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and will need to increase to 280GW annually to maintain a pathway compliant with meeting net zero by 2050.
Therefore, ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26 , later this year, policymakers are being urged to take a true ‘climate emergency’ approach.
This includes reforming administrative structures in order to speed up and streamline licensing and permitting for projects and revamping energy markets to ensure that they account for the true social costs of polluting fossil fuels and facilitate a rapid transition to a system based on renewable energy.
In relation to those challenges, and the benefits that further developments in the sector can bring, WindEurope chief executive Giles Dickson stated:
“Climate change is at the top of the political agenda in a way we’ve not seen before. 300,000 people work in wind energy in Europe today and local communities are benefitting too from investment and local tax revenues.
“Wind is currently 14% of Europe’s electricity. It could be the cornerstone of Europe’s energy system providing half of all of Europe’s electricity by 2050 according to the European Commission”.
Spencer Ogden has been a pioneering recruiter in the renewables sector for over 10 years, continuouslyCreating careers to power a sustainable futurefor our clients and candidates alike. With the expertise built up over that period, we seek to put you one step ahead in your hiring needs with cutting edge market insight.