The European Commission hopes that a separate wind energy package will get the European wind energy industry going again.
Lengthy approval procedures, high material costs and high inflation have curbed wind energy development in Europe.
Because while wind power increased globally by 10 percent in the first half of 2023, growth was only half that, 5 percent, in the European Union. Therefore, immediate action is needed from both the EU, Member States and the wind energy industry, the European Commission stresses.
– We want wind energy to continue to be a European success story, said Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic when he presented the new wind energy package on Tuesday.
The European Union has set itself ambitious targets for renewable energy: this proportion is set to double from 22 percent today to 42.5 percent in 2030.
The share of wind energy will rise from 16 percent today to 34 percent in 2030.
But there are many sleds on the way to reaching the goal.
We see that many wind energy projects have been postponed or abandoned, says an authority official.
The European Commission has identified five problem areas that weaken the competitiveness of European wind energy companies:
* Demand for turbines is uncertain, partly because projects are stuck in approval procedures that can sometimes take several years.
* High inflation rates and high commodity input prices.
* Bidding processes are often centered around price criteria rather than environmental and social criteria.
* Competitive pressures from abroad, especially China. China’s generous support for wind energy is also causing a headache for the European Union.
* Lack of specialized workers, especially in the field of offshore wind energy.
In addition, all of Europe’s largest turbine manufacturers suffered a severe financial collapse last year, the online newspaper Euractiv writes.
– The European Union cannot double activity in the field of wind energy without a healthy, sustainable and competitive value chain. The wind energy industry cannot become healthy without ensuring access to new projects, which can attract the necessary capital, says the European Commission’s wind energy package.
In the case of offshore wind, EU member states have committed to producing 11 GW by 2030. But in 2022, only 1.2 GW were installed, bringing the total capacity produced to 16.3 GW.
– This means that in order to achieve the goal, in the future we must install 12 GW per year, more than ten times that of last year, the commission wrote in a press release.
The new package of measures is based on six pillars, including faster approval processes. The European Commission has developed a digital tool that member states can use when approving new projects.
– We must ensure that the projects that won the tender are actually implemented, says a spokesman for the committee.
The EU will also ensure greater flexibility when it comes to government aid schemes for wind energy, and will double the Clean Technology Innovation Fund to €1.4 billion.
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