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The European Commission is set to propose a European Wind Power package to help get the bloc’s flailing wind industry back on the track of growth to help accelerate its decarbonization targets, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in the 2023 State of the Union Address on Wednesday.
The EU risks missing wind power capacity installation targets and losing the supply chain to competition in traditionally low-cost Chinese manufacturing. Moreover, inflation, higher interest rates, and supply chain issues have made materials and products more expensive, raising the costs of already approved projects.
“Our wind industry, for instance, is a European success story. But it is currently facing a unique mix of challenges,” von der Leyen said in her speech today, addressing the energy transition.
“This is why we will put forward a European Wind Power package – working closely with industry and Member States.”
The Commission pledged to fast-track permitting even more, improve the auction systems across the EU, and focus on skills, access to finance, and stable supply chains.
“But this is broader than one sector: From wind to steel, from batteries to electric vehicles, our ambition is crystal clear: The future of our clean tech industry has to be made in Europe,” the Commission’s president said.
Troubles at turbine makers are also of concern to the European governments.
Last month, Siemens Energy initiated a review of its wind business after taking a large hit to earnings and expected full-year revenues and profits due to problems at its unit Siemens Gamesa, one of the largest wind turbine makers in the world.
Commenting on von der Leyen’s speech today, the WindEurope association said that unless the EU changes its policies, it could lose European manufacturing.
“It’s very good the Commission are going to do this. It can’t come soon enough given the crisis our industry is facing now,” WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said.
“And the President is absolutely right: it is essential that wind energy continues to be made in Europe.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.