November 28 (Renewables Now) - In 2016 the European wind industry contributed EUR 36 billion (USD 42.8bn) to EU gross domestic product (GDP), WindEurope said today and warned that clear and ambitious policies are needed to sustain the jobs and growth the industry provides.
In 2016 the wind sector supported nearly 263,000 jobs in the EU, both directly and indirectly, according to a reported prepared by Deloitte for the industry body and released at the WindEurope conference and exhibition in Amsterdam.
"We need an EU renewables target of at least 35% by 2030. We need clarity on post-2020 volumes so the supply chain knows what to invest and where," said WindEurope chief executive Giles Dickson. He also called for research and development (R&D) and industrial policies. He added that if all that does not happen Europe will miss out on EUR 92 billion of investments and 132,000 jobs.
Job growth in the sector has flat-lined in the last five years as many countries have become less ambitious on renewables, the organisation said. Net exports of wind equipment have fallen to EUR 2.4 billion from EUR 3 billion in 2011, affected by strong competition from emerging economies.
According to the study, the wind industry reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 166 million tonnes in 2016 and reduced fossil fuel imports by EUR 32 billion in 2011-2016.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.189)