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Net Zero Industry Act could hinder European wind industry progress, says WindEurope

A new WindEurope statement has recalled the challenges facing the European wind supply chain, citing an increase in costs over the past two years without a commensurate increase in revenues. The association explained that there is increased competition from Chinese turbine manufacturers while acknowledging the EU's effective response through the Wind Power Package, consisting of 15 immediate measures to strengthen the continent's wind industry.

26 Member States then endorsed these actions by signing a European Wind Charter. And these actions include the tightening of pre-qualification criteria to raise the bar on what sort of wind turbines can be built in Europe – commitments on cybersecurity and data residency and responsible business conduct.

Now, the EU is about to pass a Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA), which aims to strengthen all of Europe's clean energy supply chains. A measure that WindEurope recognizes as positive but, analyzed in detail, could put a brake on the European wind industry.

The association stresses that some details of the NZIA go in the wrong direction. Specifically, there is a suggestion that the new pre-qualification criteria should only apply to 20% of projects to begin with. This goes against the Wind Power Package which says they should apply to all projects. For wind, it sends it a signal that we only want high European standards for 20% of projects – the other 80% can go to non-European manufacturers.

"Sure, other clean energy industries are in a different position," says WindEurope. "Some of them rely on non-European imports for the time being. Higher standards now for all projects might hurt them. But for wind they’re essential if Europe wants to preserve and strengthen its existing supply chain. The solution is simple – NZIA must take a technology-specific approach to the pre-qualification criteria. Otherwise we simply lose the prized assets we have today, our wind supply chain, and we fail to nurture the growth of the other new clean tech industries Europe wants".

To sum up, WindEurope says the European Parliament and EU Member States need to ensure, as they finalise NZIA, that:

  • pre-qualification criteria can apply immediately;
  • and that Governments take a technology-specific approach to pre-qualification criteria.

Otherwise, according to WindEurope, the EU goes backwards on the support it committed to last year in the Wind Power Package and Wind Charter – and risks losing its largest existing clean energy industry.


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