See the latest information regarding COVID-19 and its effects on the wind industry here

COVID-19 Wind Information Hub

Impact on Wind Supply Chain

The majority of Europe’s wind turbine and component factories continue to operate. Some factories have temporarily paused activity as a precautionary step to strengthen sanitary measures within the sites and guarantee full compliance with government recommendations.

Currently 12 wind energy manufacturing sites are closed. All of them are located in Spain and Italy, the countries with the strictest lockdown regulations.

In Spain the closed factories are: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy’s blade factories in Aoiz and Somozas; its nacelle factory in Ágreda; as well as its gearbox production facilities in Asteasu, Burgos and Lerma; two LM Wind Power blade factories in Castellon and Leon and shipbuilding company Astilleros Gondán production in Figueras. In Italy the closed factories are eTa’s blade factory in Fano; Celme’s tranformers production in Montebello Vicentino and Promau’s cylinders and cones production in Cesena.

The European wind supply chain experienced some disruptions to the supply of components and materials from China in February. But Chinese component/material supply is now ramping back up again.

27/3/2020

Production at Siemens Gamesa’s Hull offshore wind factory has been temporarily paused to review safety measures in light of new government guidelines in the United Kingdom.

Source: RECHARGE

26/3/2020

EnBW has promised that it will continue offering a stable energy supply during the corona virus crisis. Most of its operational team is still “ensuring that [the] energy supply system is working safely and reliably during this difficult time” Its CEO also highlighted that the company can’t rule out delays on individual projects.

Source: FOCUS

26/3/2020

The Port of Esbjerg has launched an initiative to support companies, suppliers and activities to support them during this period. They also stated they will be moving forward with construction projects at high speed to support the construction industry.

Source: Port Esbjerg

25/3/2020

LM Wind Power’s blade factory in Cherbourg was closed for three days earlier last week but has reopened again this week. GE Renewable Energy closed the plant as a precautionary step to strengthen sanity measures within the site, guarantee compliance with government recommendations and adapt the organisation to these new procedures.

Source: reNEWS

25/3/2020

Due to the drop in oil and gas prices, wind and solar projects now match upstream hydrocarbon investment returns according to Wood Mackenzie. Their Vice-President of Corporate Analysis Valentina Kretzschmar stated that even if the price goes back up, renewables still present opportunities for companies with strong balance sheets, due to the growing pressure on the sector to commit to net-zero carbon. She also highlighted that investments in oil and gas historically are not correlated with investments in renewables.

Source: RECHARGE

25/3/2020

Ørsted stated that their assets for both onshore and offshore are fully operational at normal availability rates despite the coronavirus outbreak. Key suppliers could be exposed to risk of delays due to travel restrictions, people working from home, and government stakeholders being occupied by crisis management but solutions have been found for this until now. Risks have been relatively contained and the volatility of oil and gas prices are not impacting their businesses.

Source: Ørsted

24/3/2020

Dragados Offshore has ceased its activity from Monday on. The company is currently producing an electrical substation platform for the Dolwin 6 offshore wind farm which planned to be completed in late 2021 or early 2022.

Source: La Voz de Cádiz

23/3/2020

Slovenia has decided to exempt small businesses and households from the obligation to pay for the support to producers of power from renewable sources and high-efficiency cogeneration. Additionally, the Energy Agency cut the network charge by 33% for the same group. The measures will stay in place until the end of May. Electricity bills are expected to drop by one fifth on average.

Source: Balkan Green Energy News

23/3/2020

COVID-19 can lead to the delay in the construction of renewable energy projects in Germany due to supply chain interruptions according to the German federal grid agency Bundesnetzagentur. As a result the agency will treat construction deadlines for wind and biomass projects from past tenders with flexibility. If developers need an extension, these can be asked for in a “non-bureaucratic manner” by simply sending a formless request telling the reasons for the delay of a project.

Source: RECHARGE

23/3/2020

The Bundesnetzagentur also announced that the tender deadlines will remain unchanged for this year, including those that have not yet been published on their website and participants must thus submit their bids on time. They do note that here could be a delay in the opening, checking and rankings of the bids as this is a labour-intensive process and the presence of several people in a room is required.

Source: Bundesnetzagentur

23/3/2020

Portugal for the moment is not facing any delays in new energy acts, nor in delays of auctions for repowering projects. Repowering is a big priority for the Portuguese wind sector at the moment. However, investment costs have gone up in the country due to COVID-19 leading to higher investment costs. An extension of the commission deadline would thus be desirable as it would lead to a lower LCOE.

Source: APREN

23/3/2020

The outbreak of the coronavirus has led to a decrease in electricity consumption in different European countries. Belgium’s peak electricity consumption is 10 to 15% lower than at the start of March. France saw a 10% decrease compared to a normal Monday in March last week. Spain also saw a 9% decrease and Poland had a 5% decrease. The Belgian TSO Elia has stated that each extension of government measures to fight the virus leads to a lower consumption peak. They also stressed that grid stability and security of supply remain guaranteed.

Source: Elia Group

23/3/2020

Vestas has reopened the Daimiel blade production facility in Spain after health authorities inspected the plant to check whether the plant complies with health guidelines.

Source: reNews

20/3/2020

Deutsche Windguard is continuing most of its operation and remains open for business but has taken the appropriate safety measures to guarantee the health of its employees. The only exception to this is their safety training centre in Elsfleth which had to be closed by law, being an educational institution.

Source: Deutsche Windguard

20/3/2020

The Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) issues a statement on the effects of COVID-19 in Spain. There will be delays, no loss of activity they stress. Some administrative procedures such as grid connections and production permits are halted by the government currently, though. These will be taken up again when the state of alarm is lifted. AAE’s priority right now lies on the commuting of O&M personnel safely to wind farms.

Source: AEE

20/3/2020

ENEL’s CEO Francesco Starace stated that both wind and solar are well-placed for a rebound as huge investments to restore growth are flowing in. He also reported that there are minimal disruptions so far to ENEL’s global wind and solar build-out and does not foresee any significant disruption to its short-term targets.

Source: Recharge

20/3/2020

BayWa r.e., a project developer from Germany, stated that delays to the timeframes of its projects due to COVID-19 have been minimal but supply chain issues vary from market to market. They also expect business to accelerate even quicker after the end of the ongoing health issues and note that almost all Chinese supplier factories back to full operation.

Source: BayWa r.e

19/3/2020

Wood Mackenzie believes the operation and maintenance of wind farms could be affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. This could lead to the availability of operating wind farms to fall to around 85% from the current average of 95%. Most countries in Europe have enough staff for routine operations but larger problems often require specialists from other countries. Travel bans could became an issue in these cases.

Source: GreenTechMedia

19/3/2020

After Serbia declared a state of emergy due to COVID-19, the Serbian government decided to freeze the payment of existing FiT contracts. These FiT contracts are meant to stimulate the production of electricity from renewable sources.

Source: Balkan Green Energy News

19/3/2020

Siemens Games has closed another factory in Spain with another employee being tested positive for COVID-19. Around 10 percent of Siemens Gamesa’s annual capacity is produced at this blade production plant.

Source: Recharge

19/3/2020

Vattenfall is taking precautions and is cancelling public hearings and accompanied site inspections off the east coast of England at the Norfolk Boreas wind farm this week. ScottishPower Renewables is taking a similar decision and has warned that preliminary hearing and meetings for East Anglia 1 and 2 are likely to be disrupted

Source: reNews

18/3/2020

Navantia is stopping production, except for “exceptional cases”. The company has expelled from its shipyards not only most of its direct staff, but also practically all the auxiliary staff. Windar Renovables, which is Navantia’s partner in offshore wind have also decided to send their staff in the factory in Fene on early holidays.

Source: La Voz de Galicia

17/3/2020

LM Wind Power, a subsidiary of GE Renewable Energy, has stopped production at its two blade factories in Spain. The company stated the health and safety of its employees is its number one priority and therefore decided to close the factories in the Castillia and León region.

Source: Recharge

17/3/2020

Siemens Gamesa has decided to close a plant producing wind and solar power electronics systems in Madrid after an employee was tested positive for COVID-19. The company decided to close the plant out of precaution and will proceed to its disinfection. All of Siemens Gamesa’s office staff are already working from home in Spain and production employees continue working using a special safe work protocol.

Source: Recharge

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Impact on Energy Policy and Regulation

The following countries have confirmed they will stick to their 2020 auction schedules: the Netherlands, Lithuania and Greece. Some have already extended the auction bidding procedures: Germany, France, Spain, Ireland and the UK. Most Member States are planning to do the same but are yet to confirm the modalities.

Although EU policy is now fully focused on tackling the COVID-19 crisis, the European Commission has clearly stated it will not cut back on the Green Deal work plan and timelines. The European Institutions’ services continue business-as-usual operations remotely to advance upcoming policy initiatives e.g. the Smart Sector Integration Strategy. The Commission’s leadership – Vice-President for the Green Deal Frans Timmermans, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson and Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton – have all stated in recent days they would offer “even greener solutions” as part of the EU economic recovery plan.

27/3/2020
The European Heads of Government held a video conference to agree on how to tackle the COVID-19 crisis and to discuss a recovery strategy. They agreed that the recovery strategy to be put in place after the worst of the pandemic is over needs to be built around the green transition and digital transformation.

Source: Recharge

27/3/2020

The Dutch government has announced that it will not agree new measures to further decrease the CO2 emissions due to the COVID-19 outbreak before April. This is in spite of a 1 April deadline following a court case which urged the government to take more measures to cut emissions. Dutch Minister of Economics and Climate Eric Wiebes stated that managing the coronavirus crisis will be given priority for now.

Source: NOS

27/3/2020

Ireland has extended the deadline for the prequalification round for its Renewable Energy Support Scheme due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The application period has been extended to 30 April, rather than 2 April as was planned initially.

Source: Windpower Monthly

26/3/2020

Polish Climate Minister Kurtyka has, once again, argued that due to the possibility of having a recession as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Poland should receive more renewable aid from the European Commission.

Source: POLITICO

25/3/2020

The French Government has adjusted its renewable energy auction schedule. The deadline to submit bids to the next onshore wind auction was originally 1 July. The Government has decided to maintain this deadline for 250 MW, which is 1/3 of the volumes originally planned. The deadline to submit bids for the remaining 2/3 (500 MW) will be 1 November.

Source: Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables

25/3/2020

Crown Estate Scotland is continuing its planning to officially launch the ScotWind seabed leasing round for offshore wind projects in spring. It intends to stick to the deadlines as announced before and will ensure that government guidance on preventing the spread of the coronavirus will be adhered to.

Source: OffshoreWind

25/3/2020

A Commission spokesperson has commented that COVID-19 shows us that we need to have legally binding climate goals. We need to continue giving attention and efforts to the climate crisis. He also noted that one of the key reasons for the Climate Law was to “to avoid that climate action, a generational task is sidelined by more pressing and immediate challenges”. Meanwhile, the European Parliament is still aiming to get the Climate Law bill ready for a plenary vote in September.

Source: POLITICO

24/3/2020

Astilleros Gondán, a shipbuilding company that is also constructing two ships for the wind sector at the moment has shut down starting today until the end of the state of emergency in Spain which is expected for 13 April. The company will not receive any government support as a result of its closure as its activity has not been prohibited by the government.

Source: La Voz de Galicia

24/3/2020

The European Commission urged EU countries to immediately implement its recommendations and ensure that the transport of goods remains unobstructed. Green lane border crossings should be opened for trucks and they should not spend more than 15 minutes to cross due to checks and screenings. They are also calling on a non-dicriminatory treatment of all freight vehicles “irrespective of the origin, destination, or country of registration of the vehicle, or of the nationality of the driver”

Source: POLITICO

23/3/2020

The Polish Wind Energy Association (PWEA) has warned that the coronavirus outbreak could slow the construction for onshore wind farms and that they might miss their deadlines therefore. The association has urged the Polish government to pass an emergency law allowing onshore wind farms to ask for waivers to delay completion of their projects by 12 months from earlier contracted deadlines.

Source: PWEA

23/3/2020

The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that all non-essential factories over the country must be shut. Only those sectors that are necessary to “get the country through this crisis” will be allowed to stay open. In practice this means supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, post offices and public transport.

Source: Corriere della Sera

23/3/2020

France is discussing an initiative that will suspend gas and electricity bills for SMEs while measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus are in place. Similar plans have been discussed in Spain, Italy, Poland and the UK before.

Source: POLITICO

23/3/2020

The United Kingdom has extended the response period for its offshore wind leasing round. Interested parties will be given more time due to the COVID-19 outbreak to offer their bid. It will affect four different Seabed Bidding Areas (Dogger Bank, Eastern Regions, South East, and Northern Wales and Irish Sea). The awarded capacity in this tender process will be between 7 and 8.5 GW.

Source: Renewables Now

23/3/2020

The Council of the EU has cancelled its Working Party on Environment which was scheduled for today due to COVID-19 concerns. Officials from each Member State were supposed to start negotiations on the draft EU Climate Law.

Source: POLITICO

23/3/2020

The renewable energy auction scheduled for 4 April in Greece has not been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The auction is electronic and all documents that had to be submitted physically already have been.

Source: HWEA

23/3/2020

Poland’s Finance Minister Tadeusz Kościński has stated that the energy sector is struggling with the effects of COVID-19 and the government might therefore provide financial support. At the same time utilities are being encouraged to declare a moratorium on energy bill payments.

Source: POLITICO

23/3/2020

The Danish government’s negotiations for a new climate bill have been put on hold indefinitely as they focus their effort on the coronavirus outbreak. The planned climate bill entails the ambition to cut carbon emissions by 70% by 2030.

Source: Berlingske

22/3/2020

Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director provided a commentary on the coronavirus crisis and modern society’s dependency on electricity. He highlighted that governments’ financial responses should focus on the development, deployment and integration of clean energy technologies. This has the benefits of stimulating economies and accelerating clean energy transitions.

Source: Fatih Birol

20/3/2020

A spokesperson for the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition has announced that despite the ongoing health crisis the government still intends to meet its deadlines regarding its climate policies. The Ministry thus still aims to unveil its new climate law by mid-April.

Source: POLITICO

19/3/2020

The European Central Bank has set up a €750 billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme: a temporary asset purchase programme of private and public sector securities to counter the serious risks to the monetary policy transmission mechanism and the outlook for the euro area posed by the outbreak and escalating diffusion of COVID-19.

Source: European Central Bank

19/3/2020

Some politicians have been questioning whether putting money into the European Green Deal is the right thing to do at this moment. Meanwhile many national governments have announced plans to support their economy by handing out cash to polluting industries. But European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Thierry Breton highlighted at a Bruegel event on Thursday that “the European Deal is not over and we will deliver and offer ever greener solutions once the pandemic is done.”

Source: POLITICO

19/3/2020

On the other side of the Atlantic, the American renewables sector has asked lawmakers to extend deadlines for the tax credits wind and solar projects receive until the end of this year. They stressed that disruptions and delays caused by the spread of the virus could put 35,000 jobs at risk and jeopardize $43 billion in investment.

Source: Reuters

19/3/2020

Markus Söder, Bavaria’s Prime Minister, has stated that EEG surcharge and electricity taxes should be suspended for three months in Germany to offset the economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. The EEG surcharge is used to finance the expansion of renewable energy.

Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

19/3/2020

The industrial shutdown as a result of the corona virus has led to a drop in the price of ETS emissions permits. The price drop between Tuesday and Wednesday was the biggest in 18 months and reached €15.23 per ton on Wednesday, down from €24.06 on 10 March.

Source: POLITICO

17/3/2020

The Dutch Government is not planning to postpone its offshore auction for the Hollandse Kust Noord Site 5 (700 MW), which is planned for April. It does not foresee an impact of the COVID-19 crisis for the submission of proposals. The Government should keep in mind that if there is an impact of the Corona virus and the auction will be undersubscribed, the non-awarded volumes should be awarded at a later stage.

Source: Recharge

17/3/2020

Polish Deputy Minister of State Affairs Janusz Kowalski criticized the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) and asked for Poland to be excluded from it starting next year, or to abandon it altogether. He argued that the ETS system has led to higher electricity prices in Poland. These measures would thus help Poland to set off the economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak.

Source: Reuters

16/3/2020

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has called on the EU to change its focus from the Green Deal to the COVID-19 crisis and thereby to cancel its plan to invest over €1 trillion to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Source: Reuters

16/3/2020

The European Investment Bank plans to mobilise up to up to €40 billion of financing, which will go towards bridging loans, credit holidays, and other measures designed to alleviate liquidity and working capital constraints for SMEs and mid-caps.

Source: European Investment Bank

13/3/2020

The European Commission has made €37 billion available from the EU budget to address COVID-19. This ‘Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative’ will advance payments, redirect cohesion funds, and take other measures to support Member States as they struggle to suppress the virus. Source: European Commission.

Source: European Commission

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EU and national measures taken on Free Movement and Economic Relief

Governments recognise energy and electricity supply as “essential” services requiring operational continuity e.g. the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Italy. So far most wind energy Operation & Maintenance services are continuing. Wind energy construction activities are adapted to the latest national regulations, in particular the flexibility offered by Governments in extending auction construction deadlines.

All EU countries have enacted stringent measures for the restriction of movement of people within countries and across borders. On 30 March the European Commission published Guidelines on the free movement of workers across borders during the crisis. The Guidelines say that EU countries should facilitate the entry in the host Member State to workers exercising critical occupations. This includes engineering professionals such as energy technicians, engineers and electrical engineering technicians, as well as people working on critical or otherwise essential infrastructure.

Almost all Governments have enacted country-specific stimulus packages to support business activity e.g. credit lines, workforce support and tax holidays. The European Union is assisting Member States in deploying national stimulus packages by suspending the Maastricht criteria for national debt and deficit levels and by offering flexibility in the application of EU state aid rules.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has set up a substantial €750 billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme to purchase government bonds and private securities on the financial markets. The ECB has since expanded the criteria of eligible securities to short-term securities with a maturity of over 70 days. The ECB also confirmed that a self-imposed limit to buy no more than a third of any country’s eligible bonds will not apply to the €750 billion programme. Meanwhile, the European Commission has proposed to funnel €37 billion of Cohesion Funds into a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to address the consequences of the crisis. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is mobilising €40 billion to alleviate liquidity and working capital constraints for SMEs.

EU Austria Belgium Croatia Denmark Germany GreeceFinland France Hungary Ireland Italy Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Spain UK

EU

The EU Maastricht criteria on national debt and deficit levels are suspended. EU state aid rules have been relaxed as well. This leaves more room for national stimulus packages and emergency financial support from Governments to industry.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has set up a substantial €750 billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme to purchase government bonds and private securities on the financial markets. The ECB has since expanded the criteria of eligible securities to short-term securities with a maturity of over 70 days. The ECB also confirmed that a self-imposed limit to buy no more than a third of any country’s eligible bonds will not apply to the €750 billion programme. Meanwhile, the European Commission has proposed to funnel €37 billion of Cohesion Funds into a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to address the consequences of the crisis. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is mobilising €40 billion to alleviate liquidity and working capital constraints for SMEs.

Governments disagree over the EU economic response to the pandemic. There are two options on the table: to use the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to issue credit lines to countries asking for it and of up to 2% of their GDP, or to issue one-off bonds to pool the additional debt incurred as a result of responding to the crisis. The ESM seems to be gaining a broader support for now. On 26 March the EU Heads of State mandated the Eurogroup of finance ministers to reconcile views and work out solutions within the next two weeks.

The 27 Heads of State also agreed at their videoconference of 26 March that the green energy transition together with the digital transformation will be at the heart of the EU’s recovery from the pandemic. The EU leaders invited the European Commission together with the Member States and other institutions like the ECB to begin work on a Roadmap and an Action Plan for the EU economic recovery with these goals in mind. And they also requested the setting up a crisis management system withing the EU – the Commission will make proposals to that end.

On 30 March the European Commission published Guidelines on the free movement of workers across borders during the crisis. The Guidelines say that EU countries should facilitate the entry in the host Member State to workers exercising critical occupations. The workers should also have unhindered access to their place of work. This includes engineering professionals such as energy technicians, engineers and electrical engineering technicians, as well as people working on critical or otherwise essential infrastructure.

The Commission asks the EU countries to establish fast procedures for border management for the defined category of workers. These workers would be subject to the same health screening as for nationals exercising the same occupation on the territory of a Member State. Member States should coordinate between themselves on which side of the border this health check will be applied. The full text of the Guidelines is available here.

Austria

Contact

Bernhard Fürnsinn, MSc.
Energiewirtschaft und Technik/Energy Economics & Technology
+436602050752
[email protected]
Interessengemeinschaft Windkraft Österreich – IGW
Austrian Windenergy Association
Wienerstraße 19, A-3100 St.Pölten, Austria
Tel: +43 2742 / 21955-0
Fax: +43 2742 / 21955-5

Measures on free movement of people

Measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19

  • No general quarantine issued so far, only in the case of the Tyrol region where a complete lockdown has been initiated
  • All meetings with over 5 participants are prohibited.
  • All social gatherings are prohibited.
  • All travel to Switzerland, Spain and France are prohibited.
  • A prohibition on all non-essential travel abroad.
Economic relief measures
  • Hardship fund for one-person companies and small businesses.
  • The existing bridging guarantees for working capital loans for EPU / SMEs and tourism companies will be continued and expanded.
  • Companies with 250 or more employees are guaranteed offers.
  • Direct loans for affected companies.
  • Tax deferrals , reduction of tax prepayments, waiver of additional interest, deferral interest and late payments.
  • Austrian Health Insurance Fund (ÖGK).
  • Export companies can apply for a credit line of 10 percent (large companies) or 15 percent (small and medium-sized companies). The maximum limit is 60 million euros per customer. The financing is initially limited to two years with the option of extending it.
Useful links

Belgium

Contact

Flemish Association ODE Vlaanderen:
Bart Bode (CEO)
T: +32 2 218 87 47
M: +32 485 522 947
E: [email protected]

Wallonian Association EDORA:
Fawaz Al Bitar (CEO)
M: +32 496 12 22 31
E: [email protected]

Belgian Offshore Platform:
Annemie Vermeylen (CEO)
M: +32 478 50 01 15
E: [email protected]

Measures on free movement of people

18/03/2020: Ministerial Emergency Measures Order to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19
Essential economic activity:

  • All non essential economic activities should either be performed through mandatory telework or done by employees who at all times have 1.5 meter distance between themselves. If neither is possible businesses are forced to suspend activity.
  • Essential economic activities are exempted from this measure. They include among others:
    • Energy sector
    • International transport sector
    • Ports and airports
    • Customs
    • Industries that cannot shut down due to economic reasons

Vessel crews and ports:

Crews:

Antwerp: All incoming ships must present a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH), which the master must submit 24 hours before entering the port, stating whether there are any actual or suspected cases of illness on board together with a list of the last ten ports. The ship is checked for this by Saniport. If there are any suspicions, the ship may be obliged to remain off the coast and a doctor may go on board. The ship will not get a pilot and will not be permitted to enter port.

Oostende port:

Shipping

  • Shipping continues to function to the maximum and the harbour master’s service is available.
  • For shipping, the usual measures remain in force. For example, the Maritime Declaration of Health must be completed 24 hours before entering the port. This procedure is in close coordination with the health service Saniport.
  • Scheduled cruises are allowed to dock for supplies, but passengers are not allowed off board.

Transfer

– The crossing by vessel between the city centre and the Oosteroever has been suspended.

Measures on free movement of goods

International transport of goods and essential economic activities (including the energy sector) can still take place.

Economic relief measures

The Belgian federal finance Minister will propose the following measures to the European Commission for approval this week. We will update the info accordingly:

  • €50 billion guarantee fund for loans signed by companies during the covid-19 outbreak
  • €4,000 for one month and €160 per additional day for companies that were forced to close
  • Losses of financial institutions will be covered (if the loss is between 3-5% the split is fifty-fifty. For losses over 5% the government will cover 80% of them).
  • Postponement of withholding tax, VAT social security contributions and personal income tax.
  • Easier measures for “temporary unemployment”. Employees now get 70% of their pay plus an additional €150.
Useful links

Croatia

Contact

Maja Tatović
OIE HR
+385 91 760 4685
[email protected]

Measures on free movement of people

The Croatian government is encouraging everyone to work from home. Everyone that travels to Croatia from any other European country will have to go on self-isolation for 14 days.

Currently only essential employees are expected to go to work in Croatia, which includes: healthcare workers, pharmacy and sanitary deliveries, waste collection, security staff and water, gas and electricity workers. The O&M of wind turbines however is not considered essential at the moment.

Measures on free movement of goods

Road transport by road is still allowed between countries. Drivers must go on 14-day self-isolation after delivering their goods if they’re to stay in Croatia. Transit drivers seem not to be affected by this measure. Road transport of special equipment tariffs will be suspended until 6 June. Concession payments and tariffs for the usage of ports is suspended.

Economic relief measures

For companies that are thinking of laying off workers due to the covid-19 pandemic, the Croatian government is offering to provide the minimum wage of a salary (around € 435) for each worker that wouldn’t be laid off.

The Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development and commercial banks will offer delayed payments of up to three months. They will also offer loans for salaries of employees and subcontractors. Separately, SMEs can apply for € 51 million of so-called “corona loans”.

Renewable energy surcharge for utilities is currently suspended.

Useful links

Denmark

Contact

Camilla Holbech
WindDenmark
+45 (0)3373 0343
[email protected]

Measures on free movement of people

Borders closed on 14 March 2020 to all tourists, all travel, all vacations, and all foreigners who cannot demonstrate a credible reason to enter Denmark [seems to be the case for the sector, pending confirmation]. Until 13 April 2020. Public assembly of more than 10 people also prohibited until that date.

Private businesses have been asked to keep employees home when possible, but no suppression of movement of employees has been enforced.

Measures on free movement of goods

Borders closed on 14 March 2020 to all tourists, all travel, all vacations, and all foreigners who cannot demonstrate a ‘recognised purpose’ in entering Denmark (e.g. residency/employment in Denmark, movement of goods or provision of services). Until 13 April 2020.

Within the EU/UK/EEA documents required:

  • Proof of contract and sales agreement for movement of goods into Denmark by road.
  • Contract of employment documenting that the place of work is in Denmark for movement of services and work.
  • Danish citizens must also show their passport.

From outside the EU/UK/EEA documents required:

  • Contract of employment documenting that the place of work is in Denmark for movement of services and work.
Economic relief measures
  1. Danish Government to pay 75% of the salaries of employees of companies notifying redundancies equivalent to 30% of workforce or more than 50 employees. Capped at DKK 23,000 for salaried employees and DKK 26,000 for hourly paid employees. Employers to pay the other 25%. Scheme duration: 9 March to 9 June 2020.
  2. Two loan guarantee schemes, to avoid a new credit crunch:
    • Guarantee scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have experienced an operating loss of more than 50%. Guarantee covering up to 70% of new bank loans.
    • Guarantee scheme for larger companies for larger companies that can document a loss of revenues of more than 50%. Guarantee covering up to 70% of bank loans.
  3. Postponement of deadline for VAT and different employer related taxes for four months.
  4. Temporary possibility for compensation of a company’s fixed expenses i.a rent, interest expenses, contractual obligations i.a leasing expenses.
  5. Compensation of 75 pct. of average monthly lost turnover for self-employed with maximum 10 employees.
  6. Extended right to get expenses reimbursed when paying wages to employees that are unable to work due to COVID-19.  Same right for self-employed persons.
Useful links

Finland

Contact

Anni Mikkonen
CEO
Finnish Wind Power Association
Kauppakatu 19 A 9
40100 Jyväskylä,
Finland

+358 40 771 6114
www.tuulivoimayhdistys.fi

Measures on free movement of people

Measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19

  • The Government, together with the President of the Republic, have declared a state of emergency in Finland due to the coronavirus situation.
  • No general quarantine issued so far.
  • There has been a ban issued on all large public gathering over 10 people.
  • Though no travel bans have been issued, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs recommends avoiding all travel abroad for the time being.

Guidelines for all visiting Finland

  • Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs recommends avoiding all travel abroad for the time being.
  • Finnish travellers are advised to return to Finland as soon as possible.
  • Finns and permanent residents of Finland returning from abroad are advised to live in conditions that correspond to quarantine for a period of two weeks after their return.
Measures on free movement of goods

How will the coronavirus affect companies in Finland?

  • The coronavirus will have dramatic effects on business activities, initially on service companies in sectors such as tourism and catering, but over time the effects will spread to all sectors. The effects will be immediate on many sole entrepreneurs and SMEs. Companies engaged in international trade have been feeling the effects – disruptions in international value chains and logistics – for some time. Even if the most acute crisis subsides quickly, economic uncertainty is projected to continue for a longer period.
Economics relief measures

What type of aid is the state providing to companies facing problems caused by the coronavirus?

  • The Government has agreed on a comprehensive package to safeguard jobs and livelihoods and ease the economic pressure on businesses. According to the Government’s estimate, the overall scale of the measures will be approximately EUR 15 billion.
  • €200 million has been has been offered for corporate finance.
  • A further encouraging agreement has been that employers’ pension contributions will be reduced and deferred.
  • An agreed improvement in the Unemployment benefits and unemployment insurance have been reached.
  • Tax deferrals have been deemed available to struggling companies.
  • An increase in Finnvera’s powers to 12 billion.
Useful links

France

Contact

Matthieu Monnier
Deputy CEO
+33 (0)1 42 60 07 41 (Office)
[email protected]
The French Wind Energy Association (FEE)
5, avenue de la République
75011 Paris – France
www.fee.asso.fr

Measures on free movement of people

Measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19
Travel is prohibited except in the following cases and only if you have a certificate to:

  • Move from home to work when teleworking is not possible
  • Make essential purchases in authorized local shops
  • Go to a health professional
  • Travel to take care of your children or to help vulnerable people with the strict condition of respecting barrier gestures.

The two documents necessary to circulate are:

  • The individual certificate. This must be completed for each non-business trip (revert to link column for download);
  • The employer’s certificate. This is valid for the duration of the containment measures and therefore does not have to be renewed every day (revert to link column for download).

What are the instructions if I go on a trip?

  • The President announced the closure, from March 17 at noon and for 30 days, to the external borders of the European area, that is to say the European Union, the Schengen Area and the United Kingdom.
  • It is necessary to restrict international movements as much as possible.

What are the instructions if I live abroad?

  • With regard to the French who have their usual residence abroad, it is recommended, within the next 30 days, to avoid international travel as much as possible, and in particular to seek to return to the national territory. Unless there are compelling reasons to do so.
  • Limiting social contacts as much as possible – as demanded by the scientific community – also means limiting international travel.
  • If certain people residing outside Europe deemed it necessary to return to France, in particular with regard to health conditions, they are invited to make themselves known to the consulates and embassies of France. Particular attention will be paid to them, as well as to students.
Measures on free movement of goods

No restrictions on good transits should their transport respect sanitary practices

Transport of goods facilitated with derogations for 30 days:

  • increase of daily driving times (up to 10 hours per day or 11 hours per day twice a week)
  • increase of daily driving times up to 60 hours per week and 102 hours in 2 consecutive weeks (should the rules on rest and wortime for drivers be respected)

Crucial activities to remain open:

  • Waste management
  • Packaging
  • Energy supply
  • Breeding
Economics relief measures

For businesses, the Government has announced the following measures:

  • Payment deadlines for social and / or tax payments (URSSAF, taxes);
  • In the most difficult situations, direct tax rebates can be decided within the framework of an individualized examination of the requests;
  • Suspension of rents, water, gas and electricity bills for SMEs in difficulty
  • Aid of 1,500 euros for all small businesses, the self-employed, and micro-enterprises thanks to the solidarity fund;
  • Mobilization of the State to the tune of 300 billion euros to guarantee bank cash lines which companies may need because of the epidemic;
  • Support from the State and the Banque de France (credit mediation) to negotiate with its bank a rescheduling of bank credits;
  • Maintaining employment in companies through the simplified and reinforced partial unemployment system;
  • Support for the treatment of a conflict with customers or suppliers by the Business Mediator;
  • Recognition by the State and local authorities of Coronavirus as a case of force majeure for their public markets. Consequently, for all State and local public contracts, the delay penalties will not be applied
Useful links

Germany

Contact

Beatrix Fontius
VDMA
+49 69 6603 1886
[email protected]g

Measures on free movement of people

The German federal government agreed with regional governments that all public gatherings of more than two people are prohibited. There are exceptions for families. All restaurants and hairdressers must close. The way to work, to emergency care, participation in necessary appointments, individual sports and exercise in the fresh air remain possible. The restrictions on social contacts also apply to trips by car and buses / trains. The use of the car is only permitted if you’re by yourself or in the company of family members. There is currently no restriction on going outside in Germany, just a restraining order is in place. Specific rules can differ between different States.

From March 20, 2020, border crossings at the land borders with Austria, France, Luxembourg, Denmark and Switzerland will only be possible at certain border crossing points. The cross-border movement of goods as well as cross-border travel for work-related reasons or to carry out a professional activity to carry out contractual services – regardless of nationality – remains permitted (including commuters, seasonal workers, EU parliamentarians, accredited diplomats).

Measures on free movement of goods

No factories have been closed by government decree in Germany. Some factories, notably in the automotive sector, have closed their doors voluntarily. Freedom of movement of goods is maintained otherwise.

Economic relief measures

In order to keep the effects of the Corona crisis as low as possible for companies and the labour market, the Federal Government has launched extensive aid measures. The Guarantee for Entrepreneurial Financing will be broadened. This consists of four packages

  • Direct payments to SMEs
  • Reduced hours compensation for companies
  • Liquidity support for small and big companies
  • Delay in payment of taxes
Useful links

Greece

Contact

Panagiotis Papastamatiou
HWEA CEO
2 Tychis str., 152 33, Chalandri Athens Greece
Tel.: 0030 210 6816803
Fax: 0030 210 6816837

Measures on free movement of people

Measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19:

  • Restriction of movement effective from 23 March throughout Greece. Freedom of movement restricted with a few exceptions e.g. pharmacy, supermarket, doctor visit.
  • People traveling for work must have a letter from their employer and carry ID at all times.
  • Gatherings of more than ten people are banned.
  • Cruise ships and tourism boats not allowed to dock in Greece as of 15 March.
  • Land borders with Turkey, North Macedonia and Albania are closed. Air travel from Italy and Spain to Greece is suspended as well as ferry service from Italy to Greece.
  • From 18 March through 18 April, non-EU citizens may not enter Greece except for long-term residents, spouses or minor children of EU/Schengen nationals, members of government delegations, and passengers in transit.

Mandatory 14 day self-quarantine on all international arrivals.

Economic relief measures

The Government have announced up to now 3 packages for the relief of the struggling companies i.e. the companies which have closed by a governmental decision (e.g. commercial shops) and the companies which suffers significantly by the CPO. Prerequisite for the support is the maintaining of the job positions. The main measures are:

  • the postponement for 4 months of all tax obligations, for 3 months of all social security obligations and the return of the tax which has been prepaid for the next year
  • support of the liquidity of the companies (1,8 bn euros from the Special European Investment Fund / 2 bn euros from EIB to the Banks for loans + 0,5 bn euros for guarantees / subsidy of some operational costs e.g. rental cost etc).
Useful links
  • A good summary of all the measures (in Greek) can be found here.

Hungary

Contact

For Government info on the COVID-19 measures, it is possible to contact the Secretariat of the Operational Group responsible for the containment of the coronavirus infection: [email protected]

Measures on free movement of people

There is no definition by the Government on the requirements for “essential employees”. Individual companies can identify ‘critical workforce’ by themselves, but there is no further information on this. From 17 March 2020, for an undetermined period, only Hungarian citizens are allowed to enter the country. The restriction relates to all road, railway, water and air borders. All border controls have been reinstituted.

Measures on free movement of goods

No factories have been closed by government decree. Some car manufacturers decided to close down voluntarily.

The government deployed special military task forces (soldiers, police officers and disaster unit workers) to monitor the operations and safety of 140 companies providing critical services during the coronavirus pandemic, and to provide regular briefings to the defense ministry. The firms included are businesses operating in energy, telecommunications, transport and healthcare sectors (eg. MAVIR Hungarian Independent Trans¬mission Operator Company Ltd., National Utility Company, MVM Magyar Villamos Művek Zrt.). The full list is classified

Economic relief measures

The economic package includes grace periods on capital repayment and interest payment obligations for corporate and residential loans and financial leasing agreements, the maximisation of the annual percentage rate (APR) for new non-secured consumer loans, a freeze on rents, certain tax breaks and changes in employment law.

Useful links

Ireland

Contact

General regulatory issues Noel Cunniffe: [email protected]
COVID-19 issues Johanna Cafferkey: [email protected]

Measures on free movement of people
  • From the 28th of March until the 12th of April 2020, employees of non-essential services are not permitted to travel to and from work.
  • 14-day quarantine for individuals returning from other countries, except for those engaged in cross-border trade in goods or essential services.
  • Public transport are available only to essential workers.

Documents required:

  • A work identification or a letter from employer indicating essential employee status, as well as one other form of identification.

Effective public health protocols in place at ports and airports include:

  • In the event of a suspected case, contact tracing forms will be distributed to all passengers and completed forms will be passed to HSE lead personnel at the incident site
  • Prior to disembarking, passengers will be advised to contact their GPs should they develop symptoms within the following 14 days
Measures on free movement of goods

Within the EU/UK/EEA 

  • No need to restrict your movements if returning to the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland that is if you are an essential supply chain worker (for example, a pilot, haulier, maritime staff member, transport workers in the freight and haulage sector, the maritime sector and in aviation).

Documents required:

  • A work identification or a letter from employer indicating essential employee status, as well as one other form of identification.

From outside the EU/UK/EEA:

  • Travel restrictions for individuals entering from China, Iran, Italy, and Spain.

Documents required:

  • A work identification or a letter from employer indicating essential employee status, as well as one other form of identification.
Economic relief measures
  1. COVID-19 Income Support Scheme to provide financial support to Irish workers and companies affected by the crisis. This will provide the following:
    • a temporary wage subsidy of 70% of take home pay up to a maximum weekly tax free amount of €410 per week to help affected companies keep paying their employees.;
    • workers who have lost their jobs due to the crisis will receive an enhanced emergency COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 per week;
    • COVID-19 illness payment of €350 per week;
  2. Financial support measures, including:
    • a €200 million Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland Working Capital scheme for eligible affected businesses. Loans of up to €1.5 million will be available at reduced rates;
    • €200 million for Enterprise Supports including a Rescue and Restructuring Scheme as part of the Extension of the Rescue and Restructuring Scheme 2017 available through Enterprise Ireland for vulnerable but viable firms that need to restructure or transform their business.
  3. For firms experiencing trading difficulties and short-term shocks, the following additional supports are now in place:
    • First Responder support service through the Intreo Offices and development agencies, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland in each region to provide tailored support to affected businesses, with the objective of minimising lay-offs and securing time for firms to work through the short-term disruptions.
    • Firms that need to reduce hours or days worked can apply for Short Term Work Support through their local Intreo Office.
  4. Taxation measures:
    • Interest on late payments suspended for January/February VAT and both February and March PAYE (Employers) liabilities.
    • All debt enforcement activity suspended until further notice.
    • Current tax clearance status to remain in place for all businesses over the coming months.
    • Scheduled Relevant Contract Tax (RCT) rate review suspended.
Useful links

Italy

Contact

Alessio Cipullo
Elettricita Futura
E: [email protected]

Measures on free movement of people

The new provision (22 March) provides for the closure of non-essential or strategic production activities. Remains open groceries, pharmacies, basic necessities shops and essential services (see below). The provisions take effect from March 23, 2020 and are effective until April 3, 2020.

It is always possible to go out to work, even if it is recommended to work at a distance, where possible, or to take holidays or leave. People must be able to demonstrate that you are going (or returning) to work, including through the binding self-declaration or with any other means of proof, the non-truthfulness of which constitutes a crime. In the event of a check, you will have to declare your working need. The Authorities will then be responsible for verifying the veracity of the declaration made with the adoption of the consequent sanctions in case of false declarations.

People are allowed to leave their home only to go to work, for health reasons or for necessity or to carry out sports or physical activities outdoors. Therefore walks are allowed only if strictly necessary to make a justified movement.
The justification of the job can also be proven by showing adequate documentation provided by the employer (badges or similar) suitable to demonstrate the declared condition. In any case, all movements are subject to the general prohibition of assembly, and therefore the obligation to respect the minimum safety distance of 1 meter between people.

Certificate for mobility

Measures on free movement of goods

Essential activities

Includes:

  • Manufacture of rubber articles;
  • Manufacture of plastic products;
  • Repair and maintenance of machinery for the chemical, petrochemical and oil industries;
  • Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply;
  • Installation of electrical systems.

Retailing activities includes Supermarket and food/alimentary shops, retail sale of automotive fuel in stores specialized, retail of IT equipment and for the telecommunications (ICT) in specialized stores (Ateco code:47.4)

Retail of ironmongery, paints, glass and flat electrical and thermo-hydraulic material, sanitary equipment, retail articles for the illumination, fuel for domestic use and for heating, soaps, detergents, products for the polishing and similar.

Economic relief measures

Decreto-legge 17 marzo 2020, n. 18  (Decreto #CuraItalia) providing for a contingency package of extraordinary measures to strengthen the national health service and provide financial and economic support to families, workers, and companies facing the pandemic. The Cura Italia Decree entered into force on March 17, 2020, and shall be converted into law, following potential amendments, within 60 days from its adoption.

Suspension of terms relating to administrative procedures.

Extension of validity of administrative acts – The Cura Italia Decree will therefore have a wide impact on all ongoing and newly started administrative procedures:

  • Any and all certificates, attestations, permits, concessions, and authorizations expiring between January 31 and April 15, 2020, shall remain valid until June 15, 2020.
  • The Cura Italia Decree provides for exceptions to the above-mentioned rules with respect to the payment of salaries, pensions, wages for self-employment, unemployment benefits, and other allowances issued by the social security, including social security benefits.

Appointment of an “Extraordinary Commissioner”.

Support for workers and companies, with the aim that no one will lose their jobs due to the emergency:

  • Employers, including companies with fewer than 5 employees, who suspend or reduce their activity following an epidemiological emergency, can use the redundancy fund notwithstanding the new reason “COVID-19” for the maximum duration of 9 weeks. This possibility is also extended to companies that already benefit from extraordinary layoffs;
  • The possibility of accessing the ordinary check with the reason “emergency COVID-19” is also extended to employees employed by employers registered in the Wage Supplement Fund (FIS) who employ more than 5 employees on average;
  • Compensation of € 600 is recognized, on a monthly, non-taxable basis, for self-employed workers and VAT numbers. The compensation goes to an audience of almost 5 million people;
  • Fund of last resort is established with a budget of 300 million euros as a residual fund to cover all those excluded from the compensation of 600 euros, including professionals registered with the orders;
  • the establishment of a fund for integrated promotion, aimed at supporting the internationalization of the country system;
  • immediate entry into force of the volatility adjustment for insurance companies;
  • possibility of paying shareholders and bondholders damaged by banks an advance equal to 40 percent of the amount of compensation due from the Savers Compensation Fund (FIR);
  • introduction of a counter-guarantee mechanism for banks, by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, with which to allow the expansion of credit also to medium-large companies affected by the crisis.

Tax measures, in order to prevent obligations and obligations from aggravating liquidity problems:

  • Suspension, without limits of turnover, for the most affected sectors, of the withholding payments, of the social security and welfare contributions and of the compulsory insurance premiums for the months of March and April, together with the VAT payment of March. The sectors concerned are: tourism-hotel, spa, passenger transport, catering and bars, culture (cinemas, theaters), sports, education, amusement parks, events (fairs / conferences), game rooms and betting centers;
  • suspension of the terms of the obligations and of the tax and social security contributions for taxpayers with a turnover of up to 2 million euros (VAT payments, withholdings and contributions in March);
  • deadline deferral – for economic operators to whom the suspension does not apply, the deadline for payments due to public administrations, including those relating to social security and welfare contributions and to compulsory insurance premiums, is postponed to 16 March March 2020;
  • suspension until 31 May 2020 of the terms relating to the activities of liquidation, control, assessment, collection and litigation, by the offices of the Revenue Agency;
  • introduction of incentives and contributions for sanitation and safety at work: incentives are introduced for companies for sanitizing and increasing safety at work, through the granting of a tax credit, as well as contributions through the creation of a INAIL fund; similar contributions are also provided for local authorities through a specific fund;
Useful links

Netherlands

Contact

Erik van Diest
NWEA
+31 6 403 962 50
[email protected]

Measures on free movement of people

Currently only essential employees are expected to go to work in the Netherlands. The only measure the government has taken is to ensure that their children will be able to go to day care. Additionally, the government published a “list of vital processes”. This list includes around 100 companies which are involved in the execution of these processes. However, only people who fulfill a “crucial function” within these companies will be able to bring their children to day care. Otherwise, the Dutch government is encouraging everyone to work from home. They included the following category as one of these crucial functions: “Electricity, national and regional transport and distribution of electricity. NWEA is in contact with the government to get the entire sector to be designated as a vital process. They expect this to be granted in the coming weeks.

The border between the Netherlands and Belgium was closed from the Belgian side. Only those working on the other side of the border or those with a good reason are still allowed to cross it and need to prove this. The border with Germany remains open fully.

Measures on free movement of goods

No factories have been closed by government decree in the Netherlands. A number of factories have closed their doors voluntarily.

Economics relief measures

The Dutch government has announced multiple economic measures to support for different sectors. The energy sector is not one of them until now. However, all entrepreneurs who expect a loss of turnover (at least 20% can apply to the UWV for a salary contribution for a period of three months (maximum 90% of the wage bill, depending on the loss of turnover). This allows companies to continue to pay their staff. The condition is that no staff may be made redundant for economic reasons during the subsidy period. This Temporary Emergency Measure Bridging for Work Retention (NOW) will be opened as soon as possible and will replace the current working time reduction scheme. Entrepreneurs can apply for the allowance for a decrease in turnover from 1 March.

The Guarantee for Entrepreneurial Financing will be broadened (Ministry of EZK).

Businesses that experience problems in obtaining bank loans and bank guarantees can use the Guarantee Business Financing scheme (GO). The government proposes to increase the GO’s guarantee ceiling from 400 million to 1.5 billion euros. With the GO, EZK helps both SMEs and large companies with a 50% guarantee on bank loans and bank guarantees (minimum 1.5 million – maximum 50 million euros per company). The maximum per company is temporarily increased to 150 million euros. The Cabinet is committed to providing all warranty space that is required.

Useful links

Norway

Contact

Øistein Schmidt Galaaen
NORWEA
[email protected]

Measures on free movement of people

Travel restrictions into Norway (as well as between regions) combined with quarantine rules pose a challenge both for O&M and construction of new wind farms. The Norwegian border is closed to all foreign nationals without a residence permit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that there are exceptions for EEA-citizens employed in the country.

General quarantine rules are in place, covering people who have been abroad and people who reside with confirmed corona-patients. The quarantine period is 14 days. However, there may be exceptions for certain personnel categories provided they’re critical for the proper functioning of essential structures, such as power supply.

Wind has now been included by the Ministry of Justice and Emergency Management to the list of essential structures, along with e.g. agriculture, food supply and petroleum. Norwegian borders are now open to EEA citizens working in the wind sector.

Read more here.

Economic relief measures

A multi-phased economic stimulus package has been presented by the Government. A general overview of tax-related issues is covered in the KPMG link below. Industry-specific measures have been enacted, but so far nothing directly pertaining to the power industry. A NOK 100 bn. (€8,1 bn.) loans guarantee scheme is currently in place to help secure liquidity.

Persons on forced leave are granted full salary (for salaries up to NOK 599.000 (€48.000) gross) from day 3 to day 20 of leave. The state covers salary expenses for personnel on forced leave from day 2. The general unemployment benefits packages are adjusted: for instance, the activation threshold is lowered, in an effort to stimulate a “rolling forced leave” where applicable.

Useful links

Poland

Contact

Aneta Wieczerzak – Krusińska
PWEA
Media and PR coordinator
Spokeswoman
M: +48 508 848 956
E: [email protected]

Measures on free movement of people

From Sunday, 15 March, Poland has closed its borders to foreigners. All Polish citizens abroad can return to their homeland but must undergo a compulsory 14-day home quarantine.

From 27 March, all people working in a neighboring country coming to Poland will have to take into account the obligation to undergo a 14-day quarantine. This includes foreigners living in a neighbouring country but working in Poland.

The ban on entering the Republic of Poland does not apply to:

  • foreigners driving a vehicle intended for transporting goods (transit included).-foreigners who are spouses or children of citizens of the Republic of Poland or remain under permanent care of citizens of the Republic of Poland
  • holders of the Pole’s Card
  • diplomats
  • persons who have the right of permanent or temporary residence in the Republic of Poland or a work permit
  • in particularly justified cases which have not been listed above, the commanding officer of a Border Guard outpost, upon authorisation of the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Border Guard, can allow a foreigner to enter the territory of the Republic of Poland according to the procedure set out in the Act of 12 December 2013 on Foreigners (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 35)
  • foreigners driving a vehicle intended for transporting goods (transit included).

The compulsory quarantine does not apply to:

  • professional freight and passenger transport drivers performing their duties.

It is possible to leave Poland by means of road transport at designated border crossing points.

Regarding internal freedom of movement and association, on 25 March Poland introduced tougher measures to remain in force until at least 11 April:

People in Poland can leave their homes only to travel to work or to the doctor’s, shopping for essential items or walking their dog. Practicing sports / walking is allowed but not in groups over 2 people. Keeping social distance of 1.5 meters is mandatory in all activities. Gathering of +3 people are forbidden (+5 in church)

Measures on free movement of goods

No measures against free movement of goods have been adopted so far. The Minisitry makes the following recommendations for those working in the transport and logistics sectors.

Economic relief measures

The government has either adopted or planned to adopt the following measures:

  • “Anti-crisis shield” for companies and employees
  • Epidemic status for companies and employees
  • Cancellation of tax arrears
  • Deferral of tax arrears
  • Installment of tax arrears
  • ZUS (Social Insurance Institution) contributions: relief for entrepreneurs in connection with coronavirus (only for entrepreneurs or selfemployes whose revenues dropped more than 50%)
  • Payment from the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) of a one-time guaranteed monthly benefit of approximately PLN 2,000 PLN gross for persons employed under civil law contracts (orders, work) and self-employed persons.

The Ministry of Finance reminds that e-Declarations allow tax settlements without visiting the tax office

Detailed information about all the measures can be found here.

Find out more

Useful links

 

Portugal

Contact

Pedro Jorge, President
APREN
T: +351 213 151 621
E: [email protected]

Measures on free movement of people

The government has implemented state of emergency measures until 3 April 2020. All citizens are requested to stay home and work from home with the exception of workers from the health sector, public services and some shops.

Travelling for professional activities is also listed as an exception. No document is required, it is up to the security authorities to evaluate the statements made by the citizen, together with the supporting evidence for the exception he/she invokes, in order to ensure compliance with the restrictions in force.

Find out more

Measures on free movement of goods

No restrictions so far

Economic relief measures

Credit lines have been made available for the most impacted sectors (restauration, tourism, etc.).
In addition, 200 Million Euro credit line for treasury support, under the Capitalizar Program (operated by the banking sector) has been made available for startups and SMEs.

Find out more

The Government has also extended the period for complying with tax obligations (declaration and payment) related to IRC.

Find out more

Useful links

Romania

Contact

Mihai Balan
Romanian Wind Energy Association – RWEA
E: [email protected]
T: +40 742 066 570

Measures on free movement of people

On 16 March 2020, the Romanian President declared a state of emergency for the next 30 days to limit the spread of COVID-19 and manage its effects.

Public authorities and institutions, companies where the State owns a majority stake and private companies shall apply working from home or tele-working alternatives.

Currently only essential employees are expected to go to work in Romania.

Romania is in full quarantine through Military Ordinance nr 2 (there is a previous military ordinance 1). Citizens are allowed leave the house only for work if they cannot work from home, for medical care, for shopping and other urgent activities (only after presenting a signed document). People over 65 are basically prohibited from leaving the house (outside a certain interval where they will be allowed to go outside and prioritized in supermarkets/pharmacies).

Through Art. 6 of the Ordinance Nr 2, foreign citizens cannot enter the Romanian territory. There are  however a number of exceptions, they are allowed if  they are a) family members of Romanian citizens b) they are EU, EEC and EFTA citizens with a residence permit in Romania, c) citizens with a long visa, d) persons that have a proven professional interest, e) diplomatic, humanitarian and military  personnel, or other personnel that provides humanitarian help, f) people transiting Romania, g) people who travel for urgent reasons (medical or family), g) people who need protection.

All flights from and to Spain and Italy are stopped in Romania for a first 14 days, to be renewed if considered necessary.

Strikes are prohibited in the following sectors: national energy system, nuclear, healthcare/social assistance, telecommunication, radio and public television, railway and other public transport, sewage, provision of utilities to the population.

Through the Military Ordinance nr 3  (25 March), all flights by air carriers to France and Germany and from France and Germany to Romania are suspended for all airports in Romania for a period of 14 days.

Measures on free movement of goods

Retail activities carried out in commercial centers (malls) are suspended, except for food, cleaning and pharmaceutical products.

Transport of goods is allowed. The drivers of motor vehicles who transport goods and who’s capacity is higher than 3,5 tones must provide justification for transportation needs.

Some automotive plants have been closed for the moment, but it has been the decision of the factory, not imposed by the state.

Maritime and river-maritime vessels are forbidden to dock in the ports located on the maritime Danube, pending the 14-day quarantine period from the last port of layover located in a red/yellow risk area, in the following two docking areas: a) the harbour area of Sulina port, for vessels coming from the Black Sea; b) the Danube, the naval mile 44, for vessels coming from the Bâstroe waterway.

Some automotive plants have been closed for the moment, but it has been the decision of the factory, not imposed by the state.

Economic relief measures

The Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment shall issue “emergency certificates” to operators whose activity has been affected by COVID-19.

Compensation for labour-agreement suspensions
Through GEO 30/2020, employees whose labour agreements were suspended due to their employer’s initiatives in response to the pandemic will receive 75% from the base salary corresponding to their position, but no more than 75% of the average gross salary for the emergency period. The compensation will be paid from the unemployment insurance budget.

In order be eligible, employers must fulfil one of the following conditions:

  • Business activity must cease totally or partially as a result of the state of emergency and each employer must hold a certificate for emergency situations.
  • Business activity diminishes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with the employer lacking financial capacity to pay salaries. The employer can receive compensation for at most 75% of its employees with labour agreements in place at the time GEO 30/2020 went into force.

For the second category on diminished business activity, the indemnity will be paid based on an affidavit. This affidavit must prove that the employer experienced at least a 25% decrease in cashed receipts from the month prior to the one in which the affidavit was submitted compared to January and February 2020, and that the employer does not have the financial capacity to pay salaries to all its employees.

The indemnity is subject to income tax of 10% and social contributions, which the employer will compute and pay from amounts received from the unemployment agency. The labour insurance contribution is not due. The related tax declaration and payment should be performed by the 25th of each month.

Extension of payment deadline for local taxes

The deadline for payment of the first instalment of building, land and vehicle taxes has been postponed from March 31 to June 30. Payments performed before the new deadline still benefit from up to a 10% bonification if the whole year tax is paid.

Amendment on tax debt restructuring programme

GEO 29/2020 amends the 2019 tax debt-restructuring programme by extending the deadlines for notification to tax authorities about intentions to restructure tax liabilities. Hence, taxpayers that intend to restructure their tax liabilities now have until 31 July 2020 to notify the relevant authorities. Moreover, taxpayers should submit requests for debt restructuring by 30 October 2020.

Reduced monetary interest rate

The National Bank of Romania (BNR) announced the reduction of the monetary interest rate to 2.0 percent starting with March 23rd.  SMEs can postpone payment for their utilities services, as well as defer payment of rent for their offices. SMEs will pay no penalties for ongoing agreements with a public authority for the period of the emergency state.

Guarantees for SMEs

The Government increases the maximum total value of guarantees that can be given to local SMEs.
They have increased the ceiling by RON 5 billion (EUR 1.04 bln), we are committed to increasing it by another RON 5 billion, if necessary, and we can reach RON 15 billion. We guarantee loans for investments and working capital, for which the interest is 100% subsidized. The guarantee covers 90% of the loan value, for loans up to RON 1 million, and 80% of those over RON 1 million.

Other measures specifically to energy:

The TSO announced that the energy system works within normal parameters and specific measures have been taken to isolate and protect essential personnel (TSO, nuclear PP etc.).

Useful links

Spain

Contact

Piluca Núñez
Director – Communication and institutional relations
Asociación Empresarial Eólica- AEE
M. +34 669 717 343

Measures on free movement of people

The Spanish Government issued a decree on Sunday 29 March on what constitutes essential services and should therefore continue. And what does not. Operation and Maintenance activity can continue including the supply and installation of spare parts and equipment. And companies have an exemption to continue with limited manufacturing of essential new equipment. In practice this means manufacturers are drastically limiting the number of people in the factories and applying enhanced health and safety protocols.

Essential employees are those working for companies or public institutions that provide the essential services covered by the RD 463/2020 that established the State of Alarm in Spain. The provision of electricity is considered an essential service. Therefore, employees of wind farms should be considered essential employees, and be covered under the provisions that establish their rights, duties and health and safety procedures.

Spanish borders are closed, only citizens of foreign countries wishing to return to their countries or Spanish citizens (or persons that have their official residence in Spain) wishing to return home are allowed to cross them. There is no distinction in theses dispositions between EU and non-EU countries.

At the moment there is no official list of productive sectors that can remain open (or should close). However, companies must encourage teleworking, but this is not compulsory. Additionally, employers might reorganize their working day, with the possibility to take up to 100% of the time to take care of family, etc.

Measures on free movement of goods

There are no road transport restrictions so far (23 March) affecting the wind power sector (O&M and OEMs). The Spanish Wind Power Association (AEE) is working with the Government to have it proclaim the wind energy sector as Critical Industrial Sector in order to ensure that it continues operating even if restrictions are increased.

So far, goods transportation by road is allowed, with up to two persons in the cabin of the vehicle.

In the wind sector, a number of blades and turbines factories have temporally shut down.  But there are also news of the Vestas factory in Daimiel reopening after health inspections have authorized workers to come back.

Economic relief measures

There are no road transport restrictions so far (23 March) affecting the wind power sector (O&M and OEMs). The Spanish Wind Power Association (AEE) is working with the Government to have it proclaim the wind energy sector as Critical Industrial Sector in order to ensure that it continue operating even if restrictions are increased.

So far, goods transportation by road is allowed, with up to two persons in the cabin of the vehicle.

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United Kingdom

Contact

Luke Clark
RenewableUK
+44(0)207 901 3037
[email protected]

Measures on free movement of people

No restrictions on free movement for commercial purposes. Individual free movement restricted since 23 March 2020 for a period of 30 days: exiting the home allowed only for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home).

Measures on free movement of goods

No restrictions.

Economic relief measures

Mostly related to small & medium-sized businesses and companies in the leisure, retail and hospitality sectors. The following schemes warrant a mention:

  1. UK Government to pay grants covering up to 80% of the salary of workers if applying companies keep them on their payroll rather than lay them off. Capped at £2,500 per month. Payments will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March 2020 and will begin arriving before the end of April. Scheme duration unclear.
  2. Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF): financial assistance to companies facing cash flow disruption as a result of the pandemic. The facility is designed to support liquidity among larger firms, helping them to bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through the purchase of short-term debt in the form of commercial paper.
  3. Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which gives access to government-backed loans of up to £5 million for UK businesses (with an annual turnover of up to £41 million) that are suffering with cash-flow pressures during the crisis period; no interest due for the first six months, and a guarantee provided by the government of 80 percent on each loan.
  4. Q1 VAT payments deferred until end June 2020.
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