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Sustainability Reporting of Wind Turbine Manufacturers
and Their Response to Public Perceptions of Wind Energy
Poonam Hutheram
6 October 2021
Discussion Points
2
• Introduction and Background Information
• Public Interest and Sustainability Reporting
• Perceptions on Wind Turbine Generators (WTGs)
• Sustainability Reporting Trends
• Study Sample
• Results and Conclusion
• Questions
Image: Business Day:https://www.windaba.co.za/nxuba-wind-farm-ready-to-deliver-power-to-sns-grid/
Introduction and Background Information
3
Rise of Renewables – The world is changing!!!
Increased population
World is more connected
People have more access
to information
Drive towards
sustainability to
reduce carbon
emissions
Cost of Renewable
Energy is decreasing
Increase RE Globally
Impact of Wind
Turbine Generators
(WTG) – have own
perceptions
Growth rate in the
world's renewable
energy capacity
increased by 45% in
2020
Wind growth 58% - 93GW
Wind and Solar are below
$0.05/kWh.
Fossil fuels- $0.05/kWh and
$0.18/kWh. (World Economic
Forum)
Public Interest – Perceptions on WTGs
• Fears on Turbines – results in increased opposition
to wind farm development
• Wind Farms are refused planning permission
Implications
• Developers spend time and resources to develop
projects that will not be built
• Increased expenditure – recoup in other projects
• Loss of good wind resource sites
Rise of Sustainability Reporting Globally
• Triple bottom line – economic, social,
environmental
• Gained importance – increased social awareness
4
Motivation for the study
The Study
• Review on public perceptions
• Status of Sustainability Reporting
• Reporting Tends
• Do the reports contain information to tackle the
perceptions associated with the WTGs?
Expected Benefits
• Study will provide information on the perceptions
associated with the WTGs
• Developers and OEMs can work together to dispel
these
• Find solutions to mitigate against negative
impacts or concerns
• Greater chances of approvals
Public Perceptions of WTGs
Wind Farm Opposition
• NIMBY – “yes, it is good, as long as I cannot see it” People
block WTGs installation as there is always a better place to
put them – Away from their own property
Trends
• Impact on Society – visual impact, noise pollution, shadow
flicker, fear of possible health issues that a WTG can cause.
Experience of sleep disturbances that may give rise to other
health issues
• Financial - Perceived Economic Benefits and Costs, benefit to
the local community and WTG efficiency or power output
• Environmental – physical size and visual impact, foundation
footprint and soil erosion as well as bird and bat
endangerment
5
Source: https://planningtank.com/urbanisation/nimby-not-in-
my-backyard
Sustainability Reporting Trends
• Reporting has gained importance in recent years
• NGOs and other organisations are demanding that companies
take responsibility for their actions
• Uptake is Industry specific, example Mining Industry is more
prominent
• Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) – standards for sustainability
reporting – most prominent
• GRI was chosen for this study to benchmark companies against
their framework, comprising of the following standards:
• Universal (3) – General disclosures, management approach
• Economic (7)
• Environmental (8)
• Social (19)
• United Nations (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGD)
6
Source: https://cascadiaupdates.files.wordpress.com/2021/05/triple-
bottom-line-diagram.png
Development that meets the
needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own
needs - Brundtland
The Study and Sample
Public Perceptions
• Analysis of WTG (Original Equipment Manufacturers
(OEM’s) sustainability reports
• Sample taken – more than 50% of global market
share
• Total Market share – 55.75%
• Analysed against the following concerns
• Financial
• Societal
• Environmental
7
Global Sustainability Reporting Trends
• Analysis of OEM sustainability reports against
the GRI Guidelines:
• External Assurance
• GRI G4 Guidelines – with Index
• Universal (3) – General disclosures,
management approach
• Economic (7)
• Environmental (8)
• Social (19)
• UN SGD Goals
2020 OEM Sample
Company % Market Share 2019/2020 Report Type
Vestas 15,74 Sustainability Report
Siemens Gamesa 14,41 Sustainability Report
Gold Wind 13,52 Sustainability Report
General Electric 12,08 Sustainability Report
Results and Conclusion
• Public Perceptions
• Most OEMs do not provide information to
dispel the public concerns
• Some reports have included information to
address the public concerns with Gold Wind
leading the initiative
Recommendations
• OEMs should report on concerns for more
credibility (increased support)
• Current activities are focused on cost reductions
and development of new larger turbines – state
the benefits
8
• Global Sustainability Reporting Trends
• All inline with international trends
• Report on GRI Guidelines with detailed
index of standards
• Report on the UN SDGs
• Not sufficient as no industry specific issues
are covered.
Recommendations
• Need for industry specific guidelines
• Collaboration between GRI and Wind
Industry
9
End

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P Hutheram Presentation updated V1.pptx

  • 1. Sustainability Reporting of Wind Turbine Manufacturers and Their Response to Public Perceptions of Wind Energy Poonam Hutheram 6 October 2021
  • 2. Discussion Points 2 • Introduction and Background Information • Public Interest and Sustainability Reporting • Perceptions on Wind Turbine Generators (WTGs) • Sustainability Reporting Trends • Study Sample • Results and Conclusion • Questions Image: Business Day:https://www.windaba.co.za/nxuba-wind-farm-ready-to-deliver-power-to-sns-grid/
  • 3. Introduction and Background Information 3 Rise of Renewables – The world is changing!!! Increased population World is more connected People have more access to information Drive towards sustainability to reduce carbon emissions Cost of Renewable Energy is decreasing Increase RE Globally Impact of Wind Turbine Generators (WTG) – have own perceptions Growth rate in the world's renewable energy capacity increased by 45% in 2020 Wind growth 58% - 93GW Wind and Solar are below $0.05/kWh. Fossil fuels- $0.05/kWh and $0.18/kWh. (World Economic Forum)
  • 4. Public Interest – Perceptions on WTGs • Fears on Turbines – results in increased opposition to wind farm development • Wind Farms are refused planning permission Implications • Developers spend time and resources to develop projects that will not be built • Increased expenditure – recoup in other projects • Loss of good wind resource sites Rise of Sustainability Reporting Globally • Triple bottom line – economic, social, environmental • Gained importance – increased social awareness 4 Motivation for the study The Study • Review on public perceptions • Status of Sustainability Reporting • Reporting Tends • Do the reports contain information to tackle the perceptions associated with the WTGs? Expected Benefits • Study will provide information on the perceptions associated with the WTGs • Developers and OEMs can work together to dispel these • Find solutions to mitigate against negative impacts or concerns • Greater chances of approvals
  • 5. Public Perceptions of WTGs Wind Farm Opposition • NIMBY – “yes, it is good, as long as I cannot see it” People block WTGs installation as there is always a better place to put them – Away from their own property Trends • Impact on Society – visual impact, noise pollution, shadow flicker, fear of possible health issues that a WTG can cause. Experience of sleep disturbances that may give rise to other health issues • Financial - Perceived Economic Benefits and Costs, benefit to the local community and WTG efficiency or power output • Environmental – physical size and visual impact, foundation footprint and soil erosion as well as bird and bat endangerment 5 Source: https://planningtank.com/urbanisation/nimby-not-in- my-backyard
  • 6. Sustainability Reporting Trends • Reporting has gained importance in recent years • NGOs and other organisations are demanding that companies take responsibility for their actions • Uptake is Industry specific, example Mining Industry is more prominent • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) – standards for sustainability reporting – most prominent • GRI was chosen for this study to benchmark companies against their framework, comprising of the following standards: • Universal (3) – General disclosures, management approach • Economic (7) • Environmental (8) • Social (19) • United Nations (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGD) 6 Source: https://cascadiaupdates.files.wordpress.com/2021/05/triple- bottom-line-diagram.png Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs - Brundtland
  • 7. The Study and Sample Public Perceptions • Analysis of WTG (Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) sustainability reports • Sample taken – more than 50% of global market share • Total Market share – 55.75% • Analysed against the following concerns • Financial • Societal • Environmental 7 Global Sustainability Reporting Trends • Analysis of OEM sustainability reports against the GRI Guidelines: • External Assurance • GRI G4 Guidelines – with Index • Universal (3) – General disclosures, management approach • Economic (7) • Environmental (8) • Social (19) • UN SGD Goals 2020 OEM Sample Company % Market Share 2019/2020 Report Type Vestas 15,74 Sustainability Report Siemens Gamesa 14,41 Sustainability Report Gold Wind 13,52 Sustainability Report General Electric 12,08 Sustainability Report
  • 8. Results and Conclusion • Public Perceptions • Most OEMs do not provide information to dispel the public concerns • Some reports have included information to address the public concerns with Gold Wind leading the initiative Recommendations • OEMs should report on concerns for more credibility (increased support) • Current activities are focused on cost reductions and development of new larger turbines – state the benefits 8 • Global Sustainability Reporting Trends • All inline with international trends • Report on GRI Guidelines with detailed index of standards • Report on the UN SDGs • Not sufficient as no industry specific issues are covered. Recommendations • Need for industry specific guidelines • Collaboration between GRI and Wind Industry

Notas do Editor

  1. The demand for energy is expected to increase by 57% by 2050 – this poses a dual challenge increase in power with the need to reduce carbon emissions in order to curb climate change. Globally, Sustainable development is on the rise because people are becoming more concerned on their impact on the planet. They are more connected and have greater access to information. There is thus trend to move towards renewables as a form of energy. To curb CO2 emissions, also RE is becoming more competitive and can compete with fossil fuels. Growth rate in the world's renewable energy capacity increased by 45% in 2020, with wind grow by 58% installing a total of 93GW. However the rise of renewables, especially wind energy has resulted in people questioning the long term impacts of wind turbine generations on their health and the environment.
  2. Proponents of wind energy often use its environmental benefits in order to motivate projects, however some people still have negative views on wind energy. People generally fear the unknown and because the perceived unknown impact of wind turbine generators there is a increased opposition on wind farm development Australia – one in every two wind farms are contested. This also results in increased political pressure to refuse the development of wind farms. In England and Wales, about half the wind farms are refused planning permission. The implications: Developers spend time and resources on a project that will not be built Costs account for about 3,5% of total project costs Loss of potentially good wind resource sites The Rise of Sustainability Reporting Globally The term sustainability reporting refers to the report on the economic, environmental and social impacts caused by an organisations activities. The aim is to target all stakeholders and not just the providers of financial capital Sustainability reports has gained importance due to increased social awareness on how the activities of companies are impacting people and the planet
  3. Previously the opposition to wind farms was linked to the term Not In my back Yard or NIMBY was originally coined for the increased public opposition to wind farms. This means that people are generally in favour of RE provided it is not installed near their homes, hence they would oppose local projects. Wind Farm opposition is not unfounded Various studies globally have looked at the public perceptions of wind turbines and the attitudes of the local communities near wind farms. Summarised as follows: Financial – Economic benefits – corruption, also perception of high costs and not enough power generated Impact on Society – visual impact, noise pollution, shadow flicker Epilepsy – WTG flicker, giving rise to Epilepsy , fear of possible health issues that a WTG can cause that is still unknown. Experience of sleep disturbances that may give rise to other health issues Environmental Considerations - physical size and visual impact, foundation footprint and soil erosion as well as bird and bat endangerment Given all the opposition, one may ask the question, if NIMBY is so hard to overcome, would it not be easier to install turbines in remote locations. This however would pose a dual challenge: Loss of good wind resource sites The need for more transmission infrastructure – makes the project more costly
  4. As mentioned previously, the term sustainability report also known as the corporate responsibility report or corporate citizen report all refer to a company’s reporting on its financial and non financial impact on society and the environment This should not be confused with the term sustainable which according to Brundtland refers to development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meets their own needs. Corporate sustainability reporting as gained importance in recent years, due to the increase social awareness on the impact companies have on the people and planet. Non-Governmental organisations and non-profit organisations are demanding that companies take responsibility for their actions Sustainability reporting uptake is industry, industrial sectors are more active in producing comprehensive reports because of the negative impact they have on the environment – example the mining sector produces very detailed sustainability reports on their impact on the environment. A number of organisations are currently involved in developing guidelines for reporting, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), the sustainability reporting standards board (SASB), the King Framework and the Global Reporting Initiative, GRI is the most prominent and comprehensive. According to a Survey by KPMG – 80% of companies reported on sustainability issues compared to 12% 30 years ago with the GRI as the dominant global standard. GRI – founded in 1997, mission is to promote international harmonisation in reporting on sustainability activities. A key initiative to address sustainability reporting challenges is the United Nations 17 sustainable development goals for 2030. These goals are a result of various engagements from 2009. Goal 7 and 13 relates to clean energy
  5. The first phase of the study looked at whether the sustainability of wind turbine manufacturers contain information that dispels the negative public perceptions associated with wind energy. The following reports were analysed. Vestas – 15,74% Siemens Gamesa – 14,41% Gold Wind – 13,52% General Electric 12,08% The second phase analysed the sustainability reports to see if they are inline with international trends: They were analysed against the GRI Guidelines and UN Sustainable Development Goals
  6. The results of this study indicates most of the OEM’s sustainability reports does not contain information to dispel negative public perceptions. Some reports have included information that relates to public concerns with Gold Wind leading the initiative. All reports analysed are inline with international trends, reporting on the Global Reporting Initiative with external assurance and a detailed index framework pertaining to each standard. They also report on the status of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. However this is not sufficient as it does not translate to industry specific issues like the public concerns associated with WTGs There is a general consensus on the need for renewable energy to meet the expected increased energy demand while still reducing carbon emissions, as such it is important that wind projects globally are approved in a way that is beneficial for all stakeholders. It is recommended that the OEMs report on these concerns as it may make their reports more credible. Their stakeholders will realise that they are aware of the concerns and have embarked on activities to address them. Resulting in increased local and political support All the OEMs report on the reduction of WTGs costs and the development of new larger more efficient turbines. They need to be more explicit on how this can result in installing fewer turbines, minimising its overall impact on the environment and society. Finally there is a need for industry specific guidelines that tackles the public concerns. This should be developed by the GRI together with the wind industry