Driving decarbonisation through electrification at Electric City
Javier Rodriguez Diez
Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer
Published on 23rd of November 2021
This week, I’ll be representing Vestas at Electric City 2021, WindEurope’s Annual Event, held in Copenhagen. After many months of limited interactions and digital alternatives to meeting our stakeholders in person, I’m proud to be finally taking the stage and talking to our partners face to face. At the event, I’ll be talking on an important topic: How to accelerate renewables-based electrification, in order to drive decarbonization and meet European climate goals.
We know that renewables-based electrification is the most effective way to decarbonise energy systems. Wind Europe’s flagship report cites that Europe’s industry can directly electrify 76 percent of its power and heating consumption with technologies that are commercially available today. This is a clear signal that wind has an important role to play in Europe’s electrification journey.
The value of wind energy has evolved significantly since I began my career 20 years ago. Wind has now grown into a mainstream, highly cost-competitive energy source, capable of winning auctions, garnering political momentum by driving down cost. Going forward, we hold the potential to drive broader societal value through driving job creation, stimulating economic activity, and minimising environmental impacts beyond cutting carbon emissions, such as reducing air pollution and water consumption.
Each new wind turbine installed in Europe contributes €10m of economic activity in Europe, and wind energy can drive three times as many jobs as fossil fuels. Our industry is now at a point where we can create broader societal value, beyond reducing the cost of energy. But in order to unlock this value, we need to build to scale.
In order to achieve this however, the wind industry has a long journey ahead. It’s time to shift our narrative away from merely reducing the cost, and focus more on how to build value-driving, sustainable energy markets. And how do we get there? Here are a few thoughts:
- The volume of wind energy projects must increase significantly across Europe. We need to remove siting and permitting bottlenecks, drive grid-build out, and support system flexibility solutions.
- Reducing cost is not the only success factor. All players across the wind value chain must be able to capture enough value from projects to be able to reinvest into building further scale. This includes driving further technological innovation to expand the capabilities of wind energy and driving more societal value, including job creation.
- Across the wind industry, we need to think and work differently. Increased collaboration, and more partnerships across the value chain can help overcome our scaling challenges, by easing supply chain pressure, reduce employment volatility and accelerating industrialisation.
I look forward to discussing this topic further with our partners at the Electric City event. If you’re attending, please stop by our booth in Hall D to talk to my Vestas colleagues or myself. You can also join our conference agenda or the Vestas Innovation Theatre presentations which you can learn more about here.