EWEA becomes WindEurope

The European Wind Energy Association has rebranded itself in order to take into account the development of the sector since its original incarnation.

WindEurope was revealed in Brussels as utility Enel Green Power CEO Francesco Venturini was voted in as chairman, taking over from Marcus Tacke.

The organisation’s CEO Giles Dickson said the new name recognises the transformation over 34 years of the association’s history from a niche energy sector to a “large mainstream industry”.

The wind power industry in Europe currently employs a quarter of a million people and has a turnover of €67bn. Wind takes 11 per cent of the European power generation pie.

The challenges for an established market are different from an emerging one, said Dickson, who also professed excitement at the announcement of Venturini to the post of chairman.

“Having one of the world’s largest utilities at the helm of WindEurope, with their expertise across the power sector, is a great opportunity for us to drive the further expansion and integration of wind in Europe’s energy system,” he said.

Venturini faces a challenge in revistalising European wind energy to the scale of previous highs. Investment in renewables dropped from a peak in 2011 of €129bn to €58.5bn in 2015, the lowest figure since 2006.

The objectives for WindEurope, Venturini said, would include: full and efficient integration of wind energy on to the energy markets through an effective design framework at EU and national levels; streamlining the extension of licences and connection rights to encourage revamping or repowering of ageing wind assets; increasing the EU target from 27 per cent to at least 30 per cent renewables by 2030; strengthening the EU emissions trading scheme; and boosting finance and schemes to promote research.

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