By Arison TAMFU IN LIMA, PERU
The World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) has said renewable energy will not only mitigate the impacts of climate change but also create jobs substantially.
`If you promote renewable energy in your region, you be able to avoid spending a lot of money on energy. One economic benefit is new jobs and higher income` said Heinz Kopetz, member of WWEA who doubles as the President of World Bioenergy Association.
`Six point five million people around the world now have jobs from renewable energy. For this moment alone. Renewable energy will make the economy better and more stable. Everything is positive. Businesses will make money. It,s not like natural gas. It’s everywhere. They water is here, the sun is here free of charge` said Prof. Dr. Tanay Sidik UYAR of WWEA.
Both men were speaking on the sidelines of the United Nations climate change conference taking place in Lima, Peru.
`Renewable energy has a direct impact on small businesses. We see it in those countries that are using wind bioenergy; they are creating a whole enterprise along value chain. For instance, to produce biomass you have to process it, transport and transform it and along the line you need technology and equipment and companies producing this equipment. The whole process in itself creates millions of new jobs especially for small businesses yearning to emerge` Heinz Kopetz said.
Prof. Dr. Tanay pointed out that most businesses are surprised to hear the good news about renewables, which makes them, appear too good to be true.
"You can invest in solar or biomass to generate electricity or heat from a purely environmental standpoint because they're renewable and it's a great thing to do," he said.
Clean, efficient and renewable energy technologies are often too expensive for small businesses in developing countries to purchase.
Since 1999, in partnership with the UN Environment Programme and the nonprofit E+Co, he United Nations Foundation has invested $4.3 million to help small-business owners use clean-burning sources of energy. These sustainable energy enterprises reduce negative environmental and health effects and spur economic development in Africa.
`Helping these small businesses build a sound financial and business foundation attracts investors from more mainstream financial institutions` said a statement by the Foundation.
Regions, cities and communities demonstrate that the transformation to a 100% renewable fuelled society is possible. As reported by the WWEA, one major barrier for a fast switch towards renewable energy lies in mobilising the necessary financial resources. Renewables, although being cost-competitive, require a high share of initial investment. . At the UN Climate change talks in Lima, WWEA is hoping to obtain a clear blueprint on how to get this investment.
`The Green Climate Fund should hence provide guarantees for investors, in particular via national governments, for example by backing feed-in tariffs or microcredit schemes with public guarantees. The need for such guarantees is strongly supported by renewable energy investors in the developing world ` said a statement released by WWEA.
The WWEA is an international non-profit association representing the wind power sector worldwide, with members in 100 countries, amongst them the leading national and regional wind energy associations.