Wind energy is important for the European Union Member States, considering that 19 percent of the energy consumed in the EU comes from this renewable source. Although almost all European wind turbines are manufactured in Europe, the European supply chain has been challenged.
There are over 250 factories in the EU, across almost all member states, but there is also stiff competition from Chinese manufacturers. As stated on the WindEurope website, in the last two years there related costs have been growing, while revenues have not been able to keep up with this increase.
In terms of competition, the European Union did well last year when it passed the Wind Power Package, which consists of 15 urgent measures to boost the European wind industry.
Such actions have introduced stricter pre-qualification criteria to improve on quality of wind turbines built in Europe. The European Union is now preparing to adopt a law related to industries with zero emissions, the so-called Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA). While it is a positive development that this act aims to improve all European clean energy supply chains, as WindEurope explains, several details are disputed.
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More specifically, there is a suggestion that the new prequalification criteria be applied to only 20 percent of projects, to begin with. The problem is that this sends out the message that the EU wants high standards for only 20 percent of the wind projects, while the other 80 percent can be given to non-European producers.
The solution is simple – the NZIA should approach the prequalification criteria in a way that they are specific and adapted to a certain technology. Furthermore, these criteria need to be applied immediately.
If this doesn’t happen, the European Union could backtrack on the support it committed to last year in the Wind Energy Package and the Wind Charter, and thus lose the largest existing clean energy industry.