01/10/2020 | News release | Archived content

WindEurope Bulletin January 2020 CEO Foreword on our goals for 2020

10 January 2020

CEO Foreword

Dear WindEurope Member,

Can I begin by wishing you the very best for the New Year. Our Chairman Gunnar Groebler wrote to you last week to send you the WindEurope Work Programme for 2020. Among our extensive goals this year, he highlighted 2 must-win priorities:

  • Making sure Europe recognises wind energy as a strategic industrial sector and prioritises the competitiveness of our supply chain; and
  • Tackling our challenges on project acceptance via targeted communications, community engagement and participation and streamlined permitting rules.

Let me elaborate on these. First, competitiveness and industrial policy. As you know, the EU has now agreed on principle to be climate-neutral by 2050, as part of the new Green Deal. Wind is uniquely positioned to help deliver this ambition. The EU Commission see wind being half of Europe's electricity by 2050 and electricity being half of Europe's energy. So on paper these should be boom times for our industry. But the picture on the ground is quite different. We've all seen what's been happening in Germany and elsewhere. Our supply chain is under unprecedented pressure. At a time when we should be surging, we're facing uncertainty over revenues and margins and in some places unhelpful Government policies too. Europe needs a clear industrial policy for renewables as part of its Green Deal. And national Governments need ambitious volumes in their National Energy and Climate Plans for 2030. We'll be sending you our analysis of these in the coming weeks btw..

Now, public acceptance. We all know the majority of Europeans support wind energy and the building of more onshore wind farms. But interests hostile to wind continue to have an outsized influence on where and when we can build the wind farms that Europe both wants and needs. This year we will be stepping up our targeted communications to meet the challenges of permitting and project acceptance. This will range from work on community engagement and participation in wind projects to a more public-facing online presence. We need to sell the story of wind to the wider world, delivering our messages to the ordinary citizen with clear messaging. Check out our recently revamped homepage for an example of this.

2020 will also be a big year for WindEurope events. Allow me to highlight just 3 of these:

  • 'emPOWER' - our Energy Transition Summit on 18 February in Brussels. We'll be engaging new EU policymakers on how we can help deliver the European Green Deal;
  • the WindEurope Technology Workshop on 23 and 24 April in Naples. This will be a combined workshop covering both Resource Assessment and Analysis of Operating Wind Farms; and
  • WindEnergy Hamburg from 22 to 25 September. Our big event of the year. The conference will be meshed into the exhibition. Key themes will be climate change, the Green Deal, electrification and people and communities.

Finally, registration is now open for our upcoming webinars on Offshore Wind in Europe 2019: Trends and Statistics and Wind Energy in Europe 2019: Trends and statistics.

I look forward to working with you to make 2020 - and the 2020s - a great success.

Giles Dickson