Energy industry mourns the death of Global Wind Energy Council’s Steve Sawyer

Steve Sawyer, 63, Senior Policy Advisor and former Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council, passed away on July 31, 2019 of a sudden and aggressive lung cancer.

Steve joined the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) as its first Secretary General in April 2007 and had worked in the energy and environment field since 1978, with a particular focus on climate change and renewable energy since 1988. Steve was also a founding member of both the REN21 Renewable Energy Policy Network and the IEA’s Renewable Industry Advisory Board.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Steve many times of the years and his warmth and knowledge came through every time we spoke. He authored many articles for Renewable Energy World about the global growth of wind energy. You can read his pieces here.

Ben Backwell, CEO of GWEC, said in a statement: “Steve has been a constant source of inspiration and support for me over the last decade. More than anyone else I know, he never let the wind industry forget the fight to stop dangerous climate change and why what we are collectively doing is so important. He travelled and worked constantly, but he always had time to chat, and he was a loyal and caring friend. We will miss him sorely.”

Friends and industry colleagues are invited to post remembrances of him on his memorial page here.

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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at

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