According to Arjen Vergunst, Sarens general manager – wind, the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the wind energy industry has been largely temporary. He is positive about the sector’s long-term development.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused significant upheaval to all aspects of the supply chain. But, for the renewable energy sector, the supply of wind turbine components is returning to normal. As a result, Vergunst noted that these types of projects “have only been postponed and not so much cancelled”.
Renewable energy is emerging as a potential route to reactivate many economies in the wake of Covid-19. As Vergunst explained: “The renewable energy industry is not only good for the planet, but also for the entire economy as it provides a lot of employment, and therefore income, as well as welfare of people involved in the supply chain of the process that is often not visible.”
Analysts suggest that by 2050, there will be a 60 percent increase in energy consumption compared to today – in order to meet the increased demands as well as green energy targets, there will need to be significant investment in renewables.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said that transforming energy systems to renewables could boost cumulative global GDP by trillions of dollars and create up to 42 million jobs.
IRENA’s forecasts suggest that the near-total decarbonisation requires energy investments of up to USD130 trillion. “Governments are facing a difficult task of bringing the health emergency under control while introducing major stimulus and recovery measures,” said Francesco La Camera, the agency’s director general.
“The crisis has exposed deeply embedded vulnerabilities of the current system. IRENA’s outlook shows the ways to build more sustainable, equitable and resilient economies by aligning short-term recovery efforts with the medium-and long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement and the UN.
“By accelerating renewables and making the energy transition an integral part of the wider recovery, governments can achieve multiple economic and social objectives in the pursuit of a resilient future that leaves nobody behind,” he added.
For the wind energy industry, Vergunst said that “there is no golden rule to calculate the investment required to construct a wind farm, as too many variables define the actual investment needed, such as the number of turbines the park requires, the size of the rotor, the height of the wind turbine, etc.
“All constructions require an initial investment to be profitable in the end. The good thing about renewable energy projects is that it is preserving the world and will further reduce the limited fossil fuels consumption.”