Europe’s wind industry faces ‘uncertain’ outlook: WindEurope

Despite a record-breaking year for wind power capacity installation and project sanctioning, Europe is still dealing with an uncertain outlook for the future of wind industry, trade-body WindEurope said on Tuesday.

CEO Giles Dickson said 2017 was a strong year for wind energy with the technology accounting for 12% of Europe’s electricity. However, he said the medium and longer-term outlook for wind is “uncertain,” Kallanish Energy finds.

“The transition to auctions has been messier than we hoped. And crucially, we lack clarity from many governments on their ambitions for renewables post-2020,” Dickson said. “Countries need to start clarifying how much wind energy they want to deploy in the future. This will give visibility to the industry, allowing us to plan ahead and reduce costs.”

He added that the wind industry won’t invest in Europe’s economy if the market prospects are not there. “The industry has shown it can deliver. Now we need policy-makers to deliver as well,” he said.

For WindEurope, 2017 was a year where a lot of new projects were “pushed through the gates”  to benefit from feed-in-tariffs and other old support schemes while they still applied. This was the case particularly in Germany with its 5,000 MW of new onshore wind, as well as in the UK and France. (See related story)

But countries, on individual levels, have to do more to capitalize on the potential of wind – a source WindEurope says is “mainstream” because “it’s cheap, increasingly stable, and industrial consumers are now turning to it as an energy source of choice.”

“Governments have nothing to fear from being ambitious on wind energy and renewables more broadly,” according to Dickson, He suggested Europe’s 35% renewables target by 2030 is not affordable, it’s “economically desirable” and should be expanded further.

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