Seasoned executive pledges to lead wind industry to next era of growth as installations reach 1TW.
Jonathan Cole has been named as the new chairman of the Global Wind Energy Council, the organisation that represents the global wind energy industry. Cole, Corio Generation’s Chief Executive Officer, was appointed to the position by a unanimous vote of the Council’s board in London.
Jonathan has played a leading role in the development of the wind industry for well over a decade, including as head of Iberdrola’s offshore wind business, and now with Corio Generation, the global offshore wind developer created by Macquarie Asset Management’s Green Investment Group.
Jonathan succeeds Morten Dyrholm, Vestas’ Group Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications, Sustainability and Public Affairs, who has been in the GWEC chairmanship role since 2016.
“I am thrilled and honoured to take on the role of Chairman of the Global Wind Energy Council, an organisation that is more vital and relevant today than ever before.”Jonathan Cole, Chair, GWEC
Over his career, Jonathan has overseen a combined pipeline of 60 GW in wind projects across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Having operated across both mature and new markets, in both advanced and emerging economies, he has significant experience engaging with industry, financial institutions, governments, regulators and local communities.
Jonathan Cole, GWEC’s new Chairman, said: “I am thrilled and honoured to take on the role of Chairman of the Global Wind Energy Council, an organisation that is more vital and relevant today than ever before.”
“Thanks to the ambition, ingenuity and determination of a pioneering coalition of innovators, GWEC and its member companies, we are soon to reach the historic milestone of 1 Terawatt of wind power installed globally. While this is an immense achievement, it still represents only a small portion of what we must build in the coming years in order to decarbonise our planet.
“To avert a climate catastrophe with devastating impacts on communities and ecosystems everywhere, we must rapidly transform our economies, scaling up wind capacity to reach at least 8 Terawatts by mid-century. There is no time and no need to delay. In all scenarios, investing in wind energy will deliver clean, reliable, affordable power, boosting security of supply and price stability and creating sustainable jobs. In order to achieve these benefits, the private and public sectors must come together to accelerate investment and clear the path for delivery.
“At this time it is critical that our industry speaks with a strong and united voice. It will be my honour to support GWEC in this endeavour as a relentless advocate for the sector’s needs, concerns and priorities on the world stage.”
Jonathan paid tribute to the outgoing GWEC chairman, Morten Dyrholm, saying: “Over the past seven years Morten has been a tremendous ambassador for the whole wind industry and overseen an extraordinary period in the association’s growth, working alongside an outstanding executive team under the leadership of GWEC’s CEO Ben Backwell. I look forward to supporting this extraordinary work on behalf of all GWEC members.”
Ben Backwell, CEO, GWEC, said: “It is an exciting time for the wind industry, and a great moment to welcome a new chairman to the Global Wind Energy Council. Jonathan picks up the baton from Morten as the industry passes the one terawatt mark, and prepares for a vibrant decade of development that should see the sector pass the second terawatt of capacity by 2030.”
“The progress this decade will be a huge achievement, but one of GWEC’s challenges under Jonathan’s leadership will be to ensure governments focus on removing barriers to wind and renewables deployment and continue to work with industry to ensure at least 8 terawatts of wind energy capacity is installed by 2050 in order to meet Net Zero commitments.
“All at GWEC are enormously thankful to Morten Dyrholm for his leadership, guidance and friendship over the last few years. GWEC is in its strongest-ever position following his term as chair. We are excited for Jonathan to join, and look forward to his support as GWEC continues to help markets across the world embrace their potential for wind energy.”
Jonathan has held a number of other industry positions in recent years, including Board member of RenewableUK, Chairman of the Global Offshore Wind Health and Safety Organisation (G+), Chairman of the UK’s Offshore Wind Programme Board (appointed by the UK Secretary of State), Chairman of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s Industry Advisory Group, and Member of the UK’s Offshore Wind Industry Council.