‘Reformed’ European wind power could attract $417bn

Industry group, WindEurope, believes Europe’s wind energy sector could attract $417bn in investment by 2030 if reforms and targets are introduced within the next year.

The trade association group produced a biannual report based on a forward projection study, and it identifies the possibility for 716,000 jobs to be created across member states.
It means an average of 35 per cent of European power being produced by wind within 12 years. At the moment, that figure is 10 per cent.

“It is a realistic goal but it depends on how fast energy reform takes place,” Ivor Catto, chief executive officer of RES Group and chairman of WindEurope, said before the report was released on Tuesday. “The technology is moving apace.”

Falling costs of wind power technology are making it an increasingly viable alternative to fossil fuels, the group said, but warned that ongoing uncertainty over government support is hindering investment.

WindEurope’s central scenario sees the EU meeting its current 27 per cent renewable energy target for 2030. In that, wind power capacity would more than double to 323 GW. That’s higher than the commonly used forecasts of the International Energy Agency and European Commission and would require EUR239bn.

But if the EU agrees to increase its 2030 targets in the forthcoming package, capacity would rise to almost 400 GW, the group said. It also asked leaders to maintain priority dispatch for existing wind power plants and end capacity payments to polluting power plants. It wants an Emissions Performance Standard of 550 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour of power generated.

So will Brussels and member state governments actually provide a clear direction that facilitates investment? Andrew Canning, Press Manager at WindEurope told Power Engineering International are obliged to do so.

“All EU Member States will need to set out how they’re going to reach their climate targets in their WindEurope National Energy & Climate Action Plans. These will provide clarity on post-2020 volumes, which will allow cost reductions to continue.”

“WindEurope is of course liaising with national governments to ensure they set out ambitious plans for 2030, which they will need to submit in the coming months. We areà‚  working at a European level as well to push for an ambitious European renewables target of at least 35% by 2030 within the EU Clean Energy Package. With this, the wind industry could deliver even bigger volumes at competitive cost.”

For more on Wind Europe’s study go toà‚ Outlook to 2020 and Scenarios for 2030 reports.

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