Brussels Brief June 2016 Foreword | WindEurope
Watch Giles & Pierre Ep. 25


Brussels Brief June 2016 Foreword

As we approach the half-way mark of 2016, it seems appropriate to take stock of how the year has progressed so far. We knew from the outset that 2016 was going to be a challenging year on many fronts. And it hasn’t disappointed.

We’re immersed in detailed policy discussions in Brussels on the new Renewable Energy Directive and Market Design proposals that will emerge at the end of the year. We’ve had difficult policy debates and developments in a number of key Member States. And we have a less buoyant market overall than we enjoyed in 2015. In the face of all these challenges, WindEurope is doing a pretty good job in getting our voice across and representing the best interests of the sector.

First and foremost we have successfully rebranded ourselves. Many thanks to all of you for your support on this. Remember the long-term success of our new identity depends to a large extent on how far you use it, notably the narrative of our new Association that I sent you last month (my email of 13 May). I hope you like the new WindEurope website. It’s getting 2,000 hits a day, so is a key tool for our communications.

The other big development in the life of the Association of course has been the election of a new Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively Francesco Venturini, CEO of Enel Green Power, and Cliff Harris of GE Renewable Energy.

Our advocacy on market design is going OK. The Commission agree we should have full access to balancing and other ancillary services markets. We’re making progress on the need for better-connected and more flexible power markets. On the latter we have launched a new advocacy coalition with the smart grid and storage lobbies and with the paper industry – who like us want more demand response.

On the Renewable Energy Directive the advocacy challenges are arguably greater. We’ve a new position paper on what we want in the Directive – and have started calling for a higher EU renewables target for 2030 of at least 30%. The Commission wants to stick to 27% for now but is sympathetic to our point that the Member States need to feel genuine pressure to do their fair share to whatever is the EU target.

On events, we had a good joint exhibition and conference with the Polish Wind Energy Association in Warsaw. Poland are of course now introducing legislation that seriously undermines onshore wind. There is another month before it is adopted, and we’re leaning heavily on the EU Commission to highlight the inconsistencies with EU law. More positively the Polish government seem clear that they want to support offshore wind.

We also organised a successful technology workshop in Bilbao on analysing the operation of wind farms – which got a record attendance for our workshops. There are 2 more technology workshops to come this year: on sound and on the supply chain.

In addition to our workshops, WindEurope is now coordinating the European Technology and Innovation Platform (ETIPWind). The initial deliverable here is a stakeholder consultation on how we can make Europe number 1 in renewables. The goal is to define and agree on concrete research and innovation priorities and relay these to the EU institutions.

Alongside all of this, we’ve had several high-level meetings with policymakers in Brussels and elsewhere in Europe.

As we look ahead to the second half of 2016, two things stand out:

Looking forward to continued collaboration.

– Giles Dickson


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