Wind industry gears up for high level participation in Copenhagen climate talks

More than 350 wind industry participants have confirmed their participation, including the CEOs of some of the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers, wind farm operators and developers.

“Wind power will play a key role in combating climate change, but we need a clear framework and a price on carbon for the sector to reach its full potential,” said Steve Sawyer, Global Wind Energy Council  Secretary General. “All analyses show that the largest contribution to solving the climate issue must come from the private sector, and we stand ready to contribute, but we need a clear, robust and legally binding international framework to do so.”

Industry scenarios demonstrate that wind energy can save as much as 10 bn tons of CO2 by 2020. However, investor confidence is essential to reaching this goal, and stable long-term policies based on stringent and binding international targets are necessary to create a favourable investment climate for wind energy and other renewables.

“Our activities at COP15 mark the culmination of the wind industry’s 2009 ‘Wind Power Works’ campaign, which aims at increasing the industry’s visibility during the climate negotiations and media coverage around climate change,” said Angelika Pullen, GWEC Communications Director. “With the strong presence at the Copenhagen summit, we are adding weight to the wind industry’s calls for a robust climate agreement, and improved carbon markets. We hope that the sector’s voice will be heard strongly and clearly.”

A great variety of activities will emphasise the benefits of wind power technology at the COP15 and highlight the strong presence of the industry.

These include boat tours to the Middelgrunden offshore wind farm off Copenhagen harbour, a wind turbine and a wind turbine blade which are exhibited at the conference centre, as well as series of press conferences, side events and social gatherings.

Global wind energy industry welcomes China’s plans to curb CO2 emissions

Representatives of the global wind power industry have welcomed China’s recently announced carbon intensity goal, which would cut the amount of CO2 emitted for each unit of GDP by 40-45% by 2020 compared to 2005 levels. This move is considered significant in view of the upcoming climate negotiations in Copenhagen.

“This announcement is a big step towards reaching a global climate agreement as it lays out a clear commitment by the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Steve Sawyer, GWEC’s Secretary General. “Along with recent statements from the US administration, this raises hopes again that an international deal can be struck in Copenhagen. The ball is now in the court of industrialised countries to raise their targets.”

Wind energy is expected to contribute considerably to meeting this ambitious goal. By 2020, the Chinese government aims to reach an installed wind energy capacity of 150 GW, a 12-fold increase from 2008. This would produce 330 TWh per year and save around 200 million tons of CO2 every year. Wind energy experts predict that even more could be done, given China’s tremendous potential for wind energy deployment.

“The wind energy industry stands ready to play a key role in meeting China’s goals. With aggressive emission reduction targets and improved carbon markets, large amounts of foreign investment will flow into the Chinese wind energy market, and speed up efforts to produce substantial amounts of clean electricity to fuel the country’s fast growing economy,” added Steve Sawyer. “To achieve this, however, we need a robust agreement in Copenhagen.”

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