Wind power firms call for nations to maintain green momentum amid pandemic

LONDON (Reuters) – Wind power companies have called on governments to ensure efforts to encourage low-carbon energy are maintained amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement seen by Reuters.

Some governments have set themselves goals of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner, as pressure to act against climate change grows.

The wind energy sector called on them to keep up their climate commitments in the statement. It was signed by companies including Vestas, Iberdrola, Orsted, Mingyang Group, Nordex and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and industry groups such as Global Wind Energy Council.

“The pandemic has created a temporary reduction in carbon emissions, but experience shows that these will quickly bounce back and it is vital that we redouble efforts to fix climate change for good,” the statement said.

Wind energy costs have fallen dramatically as more projects have come online in recent years. From 2015-2019, wind energy investments totalled $652 billion and could grow by an additional $200 billion a year by 2030.

However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, some projects are expected to be delayed and financing is more difficult to come by.

On Tuesday, wind turbine manufacturer Vestas posted an unexpected first-quarter operating loss and some wind turbine firms have been forced to temporarily close factories due to lockdown restrictions.

“Wind energy is competitive around the world. We are not asking for a bailout, but we do need a level playing field,” the wind energy companies said.

A governments look to recover from the pandemic, they should resist directing public funding to revive fossil fuel assets, which are already burdened by a deteriorating business case and stranded asset risk, they added.

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