The European Commission (EC) will put forward a European Wind Power package in a bid to help the industry with the unique mix of challenges it is currently facing, EC president Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.
The package, to be prepared in collaboration with the industry and member states, will fast-track permitting even more, improve the auction systems across the EU and focus on skills, access to finance and stable supply chains, von der Leyen said in her 2023 State of the Union Address.
The EU will aim to assist every sector in developing its business model for the decarbonisation of industry and in order to do that there will be a series of Clean Transition Dialogues with industry starting from this month, she further said.
“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,” von der Leyen stated.
Welcoming the announcement, industry group WindEurope said new measures from the EC cannot come soon enough for the struggling European wind energy supply.
It warned that without policy changes, European manufacturing could be at risk, as Chinese turbine manufacturers, offering cheaper turbines, looser standards and unconventional financial terms, are starting to win orders in Europe.
WindEurope added that each of the three points outlined for the Wind Power package is critical. Permitting is still one of the biggest bottlenecks for wind energy expansion. The industry also suffers from badly designed auctions, according to the organisation, which cited negative bidding where costs are passed on to consumers or the struggling supply chain, and the failure to factor in inflation in auction frameworks.
In addition, there should be pre-qualification and non-price criteria in auctions that recognise the European wind industry’s wider societal value, such as not posing a cybersecurity threat and meeting European labour standards. While the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) will help incorporate these principles in auctions, it may come too late, WindEurope said.