2016 Global Wind Day 

As the world celebrates Global Wind Day 2016 it is useful to reflect on some the amazing achievements of the wind industry:

  • Wind is the fastest growing means of electricity generation in the world with 63GW of new generation installed in 2015.
  • Capacity is doubling every 3 years.
  • In total there are around 200,000 wind turbines in operation with a total installed capacity of over 430,000MW.
  • In 2015, 44% of all new EU generating capacity was wind power with wind comprising 11% of total generation.
  • Denmark leads the way in wind production comprising 40% of its electricity generation.
  • Wind is now approximately 4% of total worldwide electricity usage.

In addition to making a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions the wind industry has become a significant employer.  Today, on Global Wind Day, the Global Wind Energy Association (GWEC) highlights the socio-economic benefits generated by the global wind industry in the following press release:

Wind Industry Celebrates One Million Jobs

Global wind employment grew 5% last year to reach 1.1M

Worldwide, 15 June. Record wind industry growth was reflected in a 5% increase in employment in the sector, which now employs 1.1 million [1] people.  Today, on Global Wind Day, GWEC highlights the socio-economic benefits generated by the global wind industry, in addition to supplying clean power. Global Wind Day is a worldwide event that occurs annually on 15 June: a day for discovering wind energy, its power and the possibilities it holds to reshape our energy systems, decarbonise our economies, build new industries and create new jobs.

The increase in employment figures is mainly due to strong installation rates in China, the US and Germany. New job creation is being driven by declining renewable energy technology costs and enabling policy frameworks. As governments continue to struggle with high unemployment rates in many parts of the world, both the current reality and future potential for employment in the wind industry has become increasingly significant.

"We are getting bigger, better and cheaper. The wind industry has witnessed record growth in recent years which not only helps the world to meet the climate goals agreed in Paris but also generates much needed new jobs and boosts local economies, to the tune of about US$ 110 billion last year”, said Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General.

In the meantime, corporations are increasingly investing in wind energy. Clean energy procurement is standard practice for some of the largest and most profitable companies in the world, including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Lego, AT&T, DuPont, General Motors, HP, Sprint, and Walmart.

"We are thrilled to see the rapidly growing number of companies opting to source their power from wind. These globally leading companies show that wind makes economic sense, as well as protecting the environment; and it’s what their customers want to see. While government action is needed, the real change happens when investors make economic decisions which lead us in the right direction”, said Steve Sawyer.

Wind power was the largest source of new power generation in 2015. Led by wind, renewables are transforming the power sector bringing along a host of other environmental, social, and economic benefits across the globe. The macroeconomic effects are increasingly a factor in political decision making about our future energy choices.

The NZWEA is looking to celebrate New Zealand wind industry later this year with range of special activities.  Watch this space!

Renewal Energy and Jobs - Annual Renew 2016, IRENA