- Call to action to society comes at launch of new wind energy report highlighting significant social, health and economic benefits of accelerated drive to renewable energy
- Markus Tacke identifies the lack of interest among students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as a potential obstacle to fight climate change in the near future
Accelerating the uptake of wind energy would slash pollution, save lives and preserve vital water resources according to a new report from KPMG, commissioned by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, the leading wind energy manufacturer.
The KPMG wind energy report – ´The socioeconomic impacts of wind energy in the context of the energy transition´– highlighted significant benefits for gains for society through the delivery of clean energy. The report found that wind energy demand could increase by nine times by 2040 (to 34% from 4%), and by a decade later in 2050 would avoid the same pollution as the 80 most polluting cities (5.6 billion tons of CO2). This reduction would have real benefits for society saving up to four million lives a year and reducing health-related costs by up to 3.2 trillion dollars a year.
In response Markus Tacke, CEO of Siemens Gamesa, called on students across the world to opt for studies in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and careers in renewable energy to play their part in halting climate change.
Students have transformed the climate change debate in 2019, bringing new urgency and energy to the growing crisis. Data supports this concern with 60% of wildlife lost in just over 40 years.
Tacke, speaking at the launch of the acknowledged the impact that young people had had on the issue and pledged an unwavering commitment to bringing clean energy as part of the effort to tackle the crisis.
Tacke issued a call to action to young people highlighting concerns that a serious shortfall of students pursuing STEM careers could leave the industry short of the talent it needs to drive change. “You can do something. You can choose to be the one that will make change happen. Choose STEM,” he said. “Choose a career that will turn your curiosity and passion for change into solutions. Solutions that we need now, and which we will need even more tomorrow.”
Tacke also highlighted the role that regulators, governments and companies also have in driving energy transformation.
“We all come here today from different areas, representatives of the industry, analysts, political institutions. But we all have the same concern, how to use the knowledge and the instruments we have right now to start tackling climate change, because there is real urgency,” he said. “Financial incentives and clear policies are still lacking. The barriers to a full-scale transition to renewable energy lie not just with technology costs, but also with long term strategies and investments to make those ambitious plans reality,” he added.
The new report also identified other key gains from the energy transformation. Water scarcity is becoming a major problem affecting 40% of the world’s population. The report highlights that wind could save 16 billion m3 of water by 2030 (around 15% of water in the Dead Sea).
Renewables could also be key to improving wellbeing in poor countries. Around the world, currently one billion people still live without electricity and 2.7 billion have no access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking. With an ambitious energy transition, universal access to both electricity and clean cooking would be achieved in a decade.