NGOs say the industry’s rapid expansion will be threatened if it doesn’t tackle ESG issues in its extended supply chain, reports Mike Scott
Wind power is one of the undoubted successes of the renewable energy industry’s efforts to drive down costs and help to decarbonize the economy.
The cost of wind power fell by 18% last year, making it one of the most competitive sources of electricity in many markets around the world, and more than $107bn was invested in 56GW of new wind capacity in 2017, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Increasingly wind power projects are being built without the need for subsidies, allowing them to become truly part of the mainstream energy landscape.
The industry’s important role in the energy transition, and its relative newness, would suggest that it has few human rights issues to deal with. However, as the sector grows rapidly, wind firms need to consider a range of different factors, says Christen Dobson, senior project lead and researcher at the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC).
“We started working on this about two years ago after receiving allegations related to renewable energy projects. Most of them are related to hydro, but we have started to see more complaints...