Clarity in policy-making and an accelerated development of the grid are essential to the wind energy industry maintaining present momentum, according to the European Wind Energy Association.

Two positive reports were released this week from Bloomberg Energy Finance and EWEA’s own data confirming progress made in terms of wind installations, and Oliver Joy, Public Affairs spokesperson with the European wind body told Power Engineering International that while the news is welcome, there are areas need to be addressed for the industry to continue an upward trajectory.
Oliver Joy of EWEA at offshore wind facility
A first priority, according to Mr Joy, is for European governments to provide clarity in the regulatory environment after 2020.

“It is essential that we get this as soon as possible to ensure that investments continue to grow and the industry is able to take decisions today with a clear vision set out by policymakers.”

“We’re confident that if policymakers take ambitious measures on regional cooperation in the North and Baltic Seas as well as on market design reform then this will create the added momentum to drive financing in the future.”
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Pointing to the UK by way of example, he said the EWEA had noted ‘positive signs’ with Amber Rudd highlighting three more CfD rounds before the end of the parliament.

“This provides the potential for an additional 10GW of offshore possible after 2020. Of course, this is conditional on the offshore industry reducing costs but the sector is forging ahead on this front and significant progress continues.”

Despite the ground won in terms of the growth of share of the overall European energy mix, grid development, or the lack thereof, remains a big concern. Again a lack of clarity is frustrating potential progress.

“The current European market design is holding back the deployment of renewables as it fails to provide sufficient long term investment signals. Market rules need to be adjusted to reward clean and flexible power production and facilitate the pan-European trading of power enabling the integration of renewables such as offshore wind”

“Since the 1960s, these rules have not adapted to developments in technology or the demand patterns of industry and consumers. This failure to evolve means that Europe is left with an antiquated energy system, tailored to centralised production (coal, gas and nuclear) within national boundaries.”

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