Vestas Wind Systems A/S is a Danish manufacturer, seller, installer, and servicer of wind turbines. It is the largest in the world. Our company operates manufacturing plants in Denmark, Germany, India, Italy, Romania, Britain, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Australia, China, and the United States, and employs more than 20,000 people globally.
As of 2011, Vestas wind turbines generate enough electricity to provide for 21 million people.
At Vestas, we work closely with political stakeholders to drive the market for clean, renewable wind energy.
We hold regular discussions with political leaders, public servants, interest groups and non-governmental organizations all over the world. We offer advice and information to the public about the potential of wind power, both in individual markets and worldwide. During 2011 Vestas engaged with policy makers in the USA, Canada, Australia, China, Japan, Spain, the UK, India, South Africa, Kenya and numerous other countries, advocating reforms and providing best practice experience.
To develop more wind energy, a country can install specific public policies – depending the maturity of the market. Some of these policies can co-exist, while others substitute for one another.
To fully realize the potential that renewable energy can have in a country’s energy portfolio, it is imperative that governments lay the foundation for an attractive and compelling market by enacting the proper public policy incentives. There are common characteristics that span across successful public policies. They must be transparent, long-term, and certain.
Transparent: Transparent policies provide clarity to, and are inclusive of all stakeholders involved. Stakeholders in renewable energy are numerous- national and local governments, investors and developers, utilities and the end-user consumer. To ensure alignment of objectives and goals, policies should be transparent to all stakeholders.
Long term: Policies should be of sufficient length of term, as decisions that drive demand for and supply of renewable energy are long term decisions. Wind energy products are 20+ year investments, with the vast majority of investment cost required up-front. To effectively incentivize the update of renewable energy, policies will need to signal that the market for renewable energy will be attractive in the long term.
Certain: To create a strong market for renewable energy, stability in policy is required. Policies should ensure that they will continue to exist over the long term, and will not be affected by political cycles.
At Vestas, we believe in being open and transparent in how we do business around the world and the values we believe in. Over the past 30 years, we have built-up a wealth of knowledge as the world’s most dedicated wind turbine manufacturers. We are committed to sharing this unique expertise with governments and other stakeholders through a range of policies that address these specific issues:
- Wind resource mapping
- Spatial planning for large scale wind power integration, including issues relating to noise and wildlife
- Grid planning for large-scale wind power integration
It’s an initiative that comes at a time when many countries are placing greater emphasis on the value of wind power as part of their energy mix – recognizing the important benefits it brings. Namely;
- An abundant, mature, and competitive source of modern energy
- A reduction in fossil fuel imports, creating greater energy independence
- A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
- The creation of greater local employment
Key recommendations of our policies
The trend towards wind power will trigger a range of regulatory and planning issues.
Our key policy recommendations provide governments with detailed insights on how to respond to these:
Plan now for all available wind resources:
- Policymakers should take a long term approach that identifies all available national wind resources and the contribution they can make. This has been successful in many countries where wind power is already a significant part of the energy mix.
Denmark generates about 20 percent of its electricity from wind power, while Spain generates about 11 percent and Germany, about seven percent. In 2009, China led the world by installing almost 14 GW of new wind capacity. The United States and Germany ranked second and third, respectively installing 10 GW and 1.9 GW of new capacity, while fourth-ranking Spain installed 1.6 GW.
- Set clear targets and timetables
- Be clear about objectives and resolve all regulatory issues – encouraging the investor confidence needed to expand production capacity. A good example of this was the EU’s adoption in 2008 of a legally binding target of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020. Similar commitment has been shown by China, where the goal is 150 GW from wind power by 2020.
- Develop national and regional site plans
- Identify the most appropriate sites for large-scale developments, both onshore and offshore. Planning should consider factors such as long-term sustainability in terms of economic and environmental issues as well as public acceptance.
- Upgrade national/regional grid plans
- Assess the condition of the existing electricity grid, which might already need upgrading to cope with future demand. With renewable energy a priority, grids should be extended to reach the areas where wind power is abundant. Any country aiming for large-scale wind integration would reap considerable benefits from carrying out their grid upgrade in parallel with the site planning process described above, so that rising energy demands can be met by growing wind power penetration
Vestas is committed to an array of global initiatives, such as the United Nations Global Compact LEAD and World Economic forums Partnering Against Corruption Initiative. These commitments support our intent to power Sustainability, both within the organization and beyond.
We support our global operations and employees through an expanding set of sustainability policies. Recently, policies on human rights and freedom of association have been embedded to enforce human rights practices and ethical behaviour in the business, especially when entering emerging markets.
Vestas Memberships in Associations
Vestas has joined a number of sustainability groups to create a global network and increase stakeholder awareness of the company’s commitment to sustainability.
- WindMade, founding partner
- Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC)
- World Economic Forum
- American Wind Wildlife Institute, founding member (AWWI)
- Global Green Growth Forum (3GF)
- Member of more than 25 national wind associations around the world