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Too early to assess the impact of COVID-19 on European wind energy deployment

The European wind industry is the global leader in the wind turbine market, realising projects in more than 80 countries world-wide. As such, our companies rely on both European and global supply chains for raw materials and components. The COVID-19 virus is impeding international trade, creating delays and uncertainties for different industrial sectors. As the number of infections rises, the European wind industry is likely to be impacted.

First analysis suggests that COVID-19 will have moderate effects on international supply chains for wind energy. With the outbreak of COVID-19 still at a relatively early stage in Europe and other countries, it is too soon to judge its impact on production and revenues in the sector. However, the first logistical delays in the supply chain can be observed already.

“A knock-on effect of a slowdown in China’s manufacturing output is already visible in other countries. The wind industry is, of course, not the only industry feeling the pinch from quarantines, travel restrictions and closed factories. Vehicle and vessel manufacturers, solar-PV panel and battery producers are being similarly affected. We will need to take a strategic approach to ensure that disruption is minimised”, comments WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson with regards to the EU Commission’s Industrial Strategy presented earlier this week.

“With COVID-19 we are likely to see delays in the development of new wind farm projects which could cause developers to miss the deployment deadlines in countries’ auction systems and face financial penalties. Governments should be flexible on how they apply their rules. And if ongoing auctions are undersubscribed because developers can’t bid in time, governments should award what they can and auction the non-awarded volumes at a later stage”, says Dickson.

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