Vestas and GWEC launch wind energy consumer standard

WORLDWIDE: The wind industry has grouped together to launch 'WindMade', a consumer standard designed to highlight products made by wind energy-friendly companies.

Brands will be able to use the WindMade standard
Brands will be able to use the WindMade standard

The standard has been launched by companies and groups including Vestas, GWEC, Bloomberg, UN Global Compact and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC). In addition to connecting with consumers, the initiative aims to drive wind project investment by brands.

Lego is the first brand to commit to the scheme.

WindMade said the details of the scheme are still under development although the basic structure is in place. In principle, a company will need to invest in wind projects if it wants to use the WindMade logo on its products or communications.

These investments will be not be restricted to the company’s home market. However, according to GWEC, the size of the contribution required could be partially determined by where the company is based.

These investments will then be compared to the company’s energy usage in order to determine how much of this, in theory, could come from wind. PWC will be the verification partner in this procedure.

The initiative will be presented in more detail on February 28 during the World Economic Forum, while a public consultation will be held from March. The aim is to make the scheme available to brands later on in the year.

Asked about the difficulties of proving a product had actually been made from wind energy, a GWEC spokeswoman said: "What is important is we drive development of new wind farms. It doesn’t matter where you get your electrons as long as you drive wind power development."

Over the last year a number of major consumer brands have made substantial investments in wind energy. Chief among them is Google, which is backing a $5 billion project to build an offshore grid off the US east coast.

Others include Walmart, which has signed wind energy PPA's while Ikea bought six German wind projects from Gamesa last year.

Speaking about WindMade, Vestas president Ditlev Engel said: "We want to build a bridge between consumers and companies committed to clean energy, and give consumers the option to choose more sustainable products. We hope that this will create a strong element of consumer pull which will accelerate the pace of wind energy development globally."

GWEC secretary general and interim WindMade president Steve Sawyer said: "Governments are dragging their feet, but consumers want to see change now. The private sector needs to step up to provide the solutions we need to respond to the global energy and climate crises. With WindMade, we want to facilitate the change that the public demands."


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