WindEurope CEO on revision to the RED and the newly-issued Nature Protection Package | WindEurope

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WindEurope CEO on revision to the RED and the newly-issued Nature Protection Package

CEO Foreword

Dear Member,

Many thanks to all of you who took part in our Annual General Assembly and Summer Reception. Thank you also for the generous donations many of you have made to our fundraising for victims of the war in Ukraine. The system is open until the end of this week. You can donate online or via bank transfer – more details here.

June has seen further rapid and major developments in energy policy in Europe. EU Energy Ministers agreed a series of changes to the EU Renewable Energy Directive, which will help speed up the permitting of new wind farms – see our summary and reaction here.

The changes enshrine the principle that the build-out of renewables and grids is a matter of “overriding public interest”. The EU now wants 510 GW of wind by 2030, up from 190 GW today. That’s 39 GW a year of new build between now and then. Last year we built 11 GW. Simplifying permitting is key to raising the volumes. Energy Ministers will finalise the changes to the Directive with the European Parliament in the early autumn.

Germany is giving a big helping hand to meeting these new EU targets. Their Parliament passed a new Onshore Wind Law last week which aims at 10 GW of new onshore wind a year from 2025. They’ve also enshrined “overriding public interest” and set a framework for 2% of German territory to be set aside for onshore wind.

But we’ve still many hurdles to clear to deliver on these goals. The wind energy supply chain is really struggling at the moment. All five European turbine manufacturers are operating at a loss today. Their CEOs met with EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton earlier this month to discuss how the EU can help. We’re meeting this week with EU Commission EVP Frans Timmermans and Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson on the same issues. Our asks are clear: EU recovery money should support the supply chain; EU trade policy should support our competitiveness; and renewables auctions should be fully indexed, moving away from the “race to the bottom” that the price-only approach entails and avoid negative bidding.

On that last point we were disappointed that Germany’s new Offshore Wind Law provides for uncapped negative bidding in some of Germany’s future offshore wind auctions. Negative bidding adds costs which developers have to pass onto the energy consumers and the supply chain. We will continue to push back against this: in Germany and elsewhere. Many countries are resisting negative bidding, most notably the UK who again showed the benefits of their CfD system in their huge and successful auction last week.

A word on biodiversity. The EU Commission have tabled new laws in a Nature Protection Package that set a 20% restoration target for Europe’s land and seas. At the same time the EU clearly recognises that renewables expansion is key to tackling climate change which is central to protecting biodiversity. Hence the “overriding public interest” I mentioned above. And the new EU Renewables Directive also strengthens the population-based approach to species protection.

It’s worth repeating – the wind industry is as committed as ever to protecting the natural environment. That means safeguarding wildlife near wind farms and blunting environmental impacts wherever we can. Turbines themselves can be directly involved in biodiversity restoration of course, both onshore and offshore. See our infographic here for a clearer picture on this. You can read more about our response to the Nature Protection Package here.

Our RE-Source Platform holds its Annual Event on PPAs and corporate sourcing on renewables on 6-7 October in Amsterdam. It’s Europe’s largest gathering of green corporate buyers and sellers, and it’s the ideal venue to build lasting partnerships with corporates looking to go green. Registration is now open.

And stand sales are still open for our Annual Event 2023, 25-27 April in Copenhagen. This is a chance to put your company and your products centre-stage on the exhibition floor, exhibiting to 8,000+ attendees from across the industry and beyond. We’ll also be opening our Call for Abstracts soon – a chance to shape the scope and the focus of the conference. More info on this in the next few weeks.

May I take this opportunity to wish you a pleasant and restful summer. We’ve all had a huge amount to grapple with in the last few months – so a big thank you once again for all your continued input and support.

Kind regards,

Giles Dickson

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