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WindEurope Bulletin July 2017 Foreword

CEO Foreword

What a pleasure it was to welcome so many of you to the WindEurope Open Day and Summer Reception last week. Thank you very much for coming. I hope you agree that, despite the unseasonal weather, it was a most enjoyable day – sincere thanks to you, our members, for making it such a memorable occasion.

As we look forward to our summer holidays, it’s perhaps time to take stock of the last few months.

It’s been a significant time for the wind industry, with the “zero-subsidy” offshore tender in Germany, further significant cost reductions in onshore with the tendersQ in German and Spain, the return of Spain to the market after a four-year gap, significant progress towards the new support mechanisms in France – and the start of negotiations in the European Parliament and Council of Ministers on the EU’s Clean Energy Package.

As the voice of the wind industry, we’ve been pushing the interests of wind in the corridors of power both in Brussels and beyond. We’ve met all the key Members of the European Parliament who are involved in the negotiations on the Clean Energy Package. We’ve engaged heavily with national governments too, including Ministerial-level meetings with the Germans, Belgians, Swedes and Lithuanians. And we continue to interact daily with key officials in the European Commission.

Progress on the Clean Energy Package in the European Parliament is broadly positive. There is a good chance the relevant committee will support a higher target than the “at least 27%” the Commission proposed – perhaps 35%. The Parliament also looks likely to endorse the good things we like in the Commission’s proposals, including the idea of phasing out capacity payments for coal plants. The negotiations are going more slowly in the Council but will pick up in the second half of the year. Many EU Member States will resist the idea of a higher target. And the proposal to retain priority despatch and access for existing renewables may come under pressure too – so we have some serious work ahead.

Separately we are making progress on our key priority for the year of promoting the decarbonisation of transport and heating. There’s a growing realisation across Europe that the electrification of heating and transport – with clean energy – will be a cornerstone of the energy transition. WindEurope has been at the centre of those driving this agenda: we ran an event on it in the European Parliament, we did a joint workshop with Hydrogen Europe to work out how to advance electrolysis, and we launched a new Electrification Alliance with Eurelectric and others.

We’ve further extended our outreach to other industrial sectors. We’ve formed a new coalition with the chemicals industry on corporate renewable PPAs. We’re working with oil and gas companies to end capacity payments for coal. And our position as a “mainstream” part of the energy system and wider economy was recognised when we spoke on the opening panel of the European Business Summit.

At the same time we’ve further extended the products and services we offer. Our new Daily Wind Power Numbers platform has been a major success. And our first in-depth report on wind financing attracted significant interest. Initiatives like this help us strengthen our membership base – we’re pleased to have welcomed over 40 new members since January.

On events, many of you will have taken part in Offshore Wind 2017 last month in London. It attracted 6,500 participants and over 400 exhibitors. The highlights included the publication of a new report showing the huge potential of offshore wind across Europe. And the signing of a joint commitment by 25 CEOs and the 3 governments taking part (Germany, Belgium and Denmark) to significant build-out of offshore volumes in the 2020s.

We’re now working hard on preparations for RE-Source 2017, our corporate PPA event in October, as well as our annual event in Amsterdam at the end of November.

Finally, our Annual General Assembly met on 29 June and elected two new Board members – Eneco and Innogy. Congratulations to them!

Enjoy the summer!

– Giles Dickson
CEO, WindEurope
 

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