Wind power is positioned to become one of the guiding examples of a new worldwide green economy in the next few decades as nations struggle to fight climate change while transforming their workforces through the creation of renewable energy systems.
That supportive message is included in a lengthy United Nations report released last week called Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World.
The report noted that while one survey estimated that at least 300,000 people were employed globally in wind power by the end of 2006, the wind sector could see as many as 2.1 million jobs by 2030.
Not only that, the report called wind power jobs “green and decent,” a sought-after category of employment the world needs to embrace in order to respect both the natural environment and workers’ health, human needs and rights.
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) sees this latest report as another overwhelming vote of confidence in wind power. The findings come at a time when politicians, business leaders, environmentalists and citizens are grappling with how to mitigate the ravages of global warming caused by more than a century of fossil fuel-produced CO₂. Wind power is already part of that complex solution, by providing a clean, sustainable, dependable, affordable and local energy supply.
Indeed, the UN report notes that global wind power capacity reached a milestone of 100 GW earlier this year. The report also referred to the last forecast of the Global Wind Energy Council (EWEA sister association) that suggests worldwide wind power could generate close to 1,073 GW by 2020. By way of comparison, EWEA has reported there was 56 GW of installed capacity in the EU-27 last year, a figure that could climb to 180 GW in 12 years’ time.
What those global and European figures represent are a lot of well-paying, environmentally friendly jobs, both today and tomorrow. They are the kind of jobs, the UN report notes, that will, along with government support, help drive a coming transformation from the polluted fossil fuel-based world we now know to a low carbon and sustainable future.
1 October 2008