Influential and interesting in 2018 -- Ben Backwell

CEO, Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC)

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New broom at the top of wind power’s global trade body

A former energy-industry journalist and, more recently, managing director of FTI Consulting’s clean energy unit, Backwell was appointed chief executive of GWEC in June, stepping into the place of one of the wind sector’s most well-known faces, Steve Sawyer.

High on his agenda for 2019 will be the drive towards faster progress in wind-power development in emerging markets, while ensuring that countries that are further along the road, such as Brazil and India, continue to expand their wind fleets.

Growth in the offshore sector, especially in North America and Asia, will be another key priority.

GWEC has a major role to play in ensuring that some of the painful lessons learned in northern Europe’s offshore wind development, are heeded by the new players in the field.

The transition from support schemes to subsidy-free competitive tendering in many onshore markets will also require his close attention.

Badly planned auction schemes have had a negative effect on wind development in a number of countries.

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