Video: Vestas CEO Anders Runevad advocates putting “cost on carbon” pollution as part of “simple,” “market-based” system

Earlier this week, Vestas Wind Systems CEO Anders Runevad was interviewed by Bloomberg Television’s Caroline Hyde on the “outlook for wind power in different regions and possible impact from COP21.” A few key points made by Runevad (full disclosure: Vestas is a client of Tigercomm) include:

  • Even before the Paris climate talks (COP21), Runevad says we’re already seeing strong demand, “positive momentum” and “good growth” for the wind industry generally and for Vestas’ wind turbines specifically.
  • Runevad is “very happy” with Vestas’ position in the U.S., but would certainly like to see the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind renewed. Runevad also argues that the Clean Power Plan will be very positive for wind power development in the U.S. if it’s fully adopted and implemented.
  • In the U.S., Runevad says (correctly) that wind power is already cost competitive with fossil fuels in some states, and that the cost of wind is dropping fast — 50% since 2009 alone.
  • Of course, as Runevad notes, the U.S. energy market is a regulated one, with fossil fuels receiving subsidies as well. The ideal, in Runevad’s view, would be to “get to an open market…a level playing field…no subsidies on the  fossil fuel side” or on renewables.
  • Runevad advocates putting a “cost on carbon” pollution as part of a “simple,” “market-based” system.
  • In the context of Vestas’ acquisition of UpWind Solutions, Runevad argues that wind power services “will increase in importance” in coming years, as the installed base increases and the industry matures.
  • Currently, Runevad notes, Vestas has over 70 GW of wind power installed, with over 50 GW “under service,” and these numbers are growing.

Also note Runevad’s interview yesterday with CNBC, in which the Vestas CEO discussed in more detail the issue of energy subsidies. According to Runevad:

First of all, we have to remember that this is a regulated industry. So, if we cut out all subsidies, including the $500 billion on fossil fuels, I’m very confident that we would be able to stand on our own without subsidies. And generally speaking, I’m a firm believer in the free market, where the price is set on the cost of production and also a cost on pollution. If we can get that system, equal for all, subsidy-free on all levels, that’s a market that I definitely would welcome…Wind in many markets today is already the lowest source of energy without any subsidy, and I think that is really the fair comparison when you compare new bids to new bids.

“Vestas Global is a leader in the wind-turbine manufacturing space and they continue to grow,” said Tigercomm President Mike Casey. “Leading up to COP21, there has been a lot of interest in learning the business-side of sustainability and Vestas Global CEO and President, Anders Runevad, knows exactly what cleantech can do for a sustainble future. Given their history of innovation and advancements in clean technology, we’re proud to be partnering with both Vestas Global and Vestas USA.”

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