Europe’s energy security plan must adapt due to low wind turbine orders

Q3 2022 wind turbine orders declined 36% from Q3 2021. Europe must fix permitting and strengthen its wind energy supply chain.

Inflationary cost pressures, sluggish permitting, and uncertainty about EU emergency electricity market actions are delaying wind turbine orders. WindEurope tracked 2 GW of wind turbine orders in Q3 2022.

Nine different nations placed the orders. All of them supported onshore wind farms. With 322 MW, Finland placed the largest order for new capacity, followed by Sweden and Germany.

This takes 2022 orders to 7.7 GW—far below Europe’s energy and environment ambitions. EU wants 510 GW of wind energy by 2030. The wind sector should install 39 GW per year until 2030. European turbine orders are much behind this aim.

Wind turbine orders have declined since Q3. Q1 2021 disclosed wind turbine orders were 2.8 GW and have been falling thereafter.

Wind energy deployment is crucial for energy security, climate, and affordable energy pricing. To accelerate project approvals, provide renewables investors visibility, and improve and grow the European wind supply chain, EU policy must alter.

Heads of State and Government requested that the European Commission expedite permission simplification at their 21 October European Council meeting. WindEurope recently published a joint letter urging the European Commission to table an emergency Regulation under Article 122 of the EU Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. This would make renewables deployment a matter of overriding public interest and reduce the maximum licensing time to two years from the initial permit application.

Before starting new projects and ordering new turbines, investors and developers need clarity on future income and permitting changes. According to the industry’s 6 proposals, national governments must quickly clarify their income restrictions for inframarginal electricity producers like wind.

European wind energy supply chains suffer from slow permits and small markets. The European wind sector is under pressure from rising raw material, component, and shipping costs. Industry requires political support.

The EU must use Recovery and Resilience money to boost the wind energy supply chain. The European Investment Bank can also help supply chains. Tax credits like the US Inflation Reduction Act can too.

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