National Policy and Regulatory Developments | WindEurope

National Policy and Regulatory Developments

Message from our CEO

25 May 2022

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is challenging Europe to change its approach to energy, accelerating its shift away from imported fossil fuels.

REPowerEU, Europe’s energy response to the Ukraine war, aims to reduce imports of Russian gas by 2/3rds in 2022 and to wean itself of Russian fossil fuel imports completely by 2027. Central to the plan is the massive expansion of renewables and the electrification of the energy system. The EU wants at least 480 GW of installed wind energy capacity by 2030, up from 190 GW today.

Crucially the European Commission’s proposals tackle the main barrier to wind energy development, the permitting of new projects, head on. The Commission must also look at measures to strengthen the European supply chain. It is currently in poor health and as it stands could struggle to meet the huge expansion of wind power Europe wants. To this end the EU must implement the right industrial and trade policies to improve the competitiveness and viability of the wind industry.

But it is not just at the EU level that policies are evolving to the new geopolitical situation. Governments throughout Europe are taking measures to reduce dependence on Russia and to increase energy security and/or strengthen their commitments to climate neutrality.

In Germany the new government is targeting 80% of renewables by 2030 as part of its Easter package. Already from 2025 onwards Germany wants to install 10 GW of new onshore wind per year. The Easter Package also defines renewables as an overriding matter of public interest and public security which will help accelerate deployment. These measures will be completed by a Summer package including a national repowering strategy, new measures to ensure sufficient sites for wind energy, improvements to permitting, and a new strategy to strike the right balance between the expansion of wind energy and nature protection.

In France Emmanuel Macron won a second term as president and although onshore wind targets remain disappointing, the government has signed a new offshore sector deal with the industry committing to 40 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2040.

Denmark and the UK each signed into law new energy legislation aimed at increasing energy security. The UK has committed to even more offshore wind, increasing the 2030 target by 10 GW and increasing CfD round frequency to annual auctions. And the Danes have increased the offshore target by 4 GW. Moreover, they have also committed to quadrupling the combined output from onshore wind and solar PV by 2030.

At the same time, National Governments across Europe have introduced measures to contain consumer prices, often negatively impacting wind power generators in the process. Spain’s tax clawing back what the Government perceives to be excessive profits resulting from high power prices is particularly unhelpful. As is the joint measure developed with Portugal to cap the price of gas for the production of electricity. This unilateral measure weakens the European internal energy market and will have a lasting negative impact on investor certainty just when we need to double investments in new wind capacity.

Spain and Sweden are making significant investments into grid reinforcements and expansions to integrate new renewable energy capacity and countries throughout Europe are investing in new interconnector projects which will ease congestion and improve the efficiency of the grids. This is positive, but Europe has fallen behind on grids investments. By 2025 Europe needs to have doubled investments in electricity grids to be back on track towards a decarbonised energy system.

More than ever, Europe relies on home-grown energy to meet its energy security and decarbonisation objectives, wind will be central to delivering that.

This online resource covers the latest changes in policy and regulation across European countries impacting wind energy and is regularly updated.

I hope you enjoy the findings.

Giles Dickson,
CEO, WindEurope

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