The Commission has presented a European Wind Power Action Plan, which includes immediate measures to guarantee that the renewable energy transition coincides with industrial competitiveness. Wind energy is still a European success story.
The Action Plan will help to maintain a healthy and competitive wind energy supply chain, with a transparent and secure pipeline of projects that attracts the necessary financing and allows the industry to compete on a level playing field globally. A Communication accompanies it on delivering on the EU's offshore energy ambition, including wind power – a follow-up to the EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy, adopted three years ago.
As the Action Plan makes clear, achieving the recently agreed EU target of at least 42.5% renewable energy by 2030 will require a massive increase in wind installed capacity. While the wind power sector is a historical EU success story, its future growth path is faced with a unique set of challenges, including insufficient and uncertain demand, slow and complex permitting, lack of access to raw materials, high inflation and commodity prices, unsupportive design of national tenders, increased pressure from international competitors, and risks around the availability of a skilled workforce.
Six priority areas
The Action Plan sets out immediate actions to be taken together by the Commission, Member States and industry, focusing on six main areas.
- Acceleration of deployment through increased predictability and faster permitting. A record 16.3 GW of wind power installations was added in 2022, a 47% increase compared to 2021. But this is well below the 37 GW/year required to achieve the EU 2030 target for renewable energy. So the Commission is launching the 'Accele-RES' initiative with Member States to ensure swift implementation of the revised EU renewable energy rules, focusing more on the digitalisation of permitting processes and technical assistance to Member States.
- Improving auctions with well-designed and objective criteria - which reward higher value-added equipment and ensure that projects are realised fully and on time.
- Access to finance - this will speed up investment and financing for wind energy manufacturing in Europe, the Commission will make it easier to access EU financing, notably through the Innovation Fund. In contrast, the European Investment Bank will make de-risking guarantees available.
- A fair and competitive international environment - to ensure that the wind sector can operate on a level playing field, the Commission closely monitors possible unfair trade practices which benefit foreign manufacturers and will continue to use trade agreements to make it easier to access foreign markets while promoting the adoption of EU and international standards for the sector.
- Skills - large-Scale Skills Partnerships for Renewable Energy will be a key forum to develop skills development projects. With the Net-Zero Industry Act, the Commission will also help launch European net-zero industry skills academies – including one dedicated to the wind sector. The academies will develop learning content and materials, and will aim to train 100,000 learners within three years of establishment.
- Industry engagement and Member States commitments. The Commission will work with Member States and the wind industry on an EU Wind Charter to improve the enabling conditions for the European wind industry to remain competitive.
- Publication date
- 25 October 2023