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Europe: Lobbying - Technology platform ups policy role

The European Technology Platform for Wind Energy (TPWind) is to crank up its role in policy lobbying.

The organisation has historically focussed on research and development (R&D) issues. However, with the launch of the EC's Strategic Energy Technology Plan (Set-Plan) in 2009, TPWind says it is time to take a more active role in EU wind policy. That desire came through clearly during its general assembly in Brussels in late March. "TPWind members will keep discussing relevant research and development issues, but will be more and more involved in the identification of strategies for the development of wind power," said Filippo Gagliardi, project manager for the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and TPWind.

The European Commission has called on TPWind to draw up an implementation plan for wind energy between 2010 and 2012. Nicholas Fichaux, TPWind secretary general, said that one of the most important and most difficult tasks for the organisation was to define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the Set-Plan. Fichaux said that the EU lacks any indicators that prove the cost efficiency of various turbines. "It's a huge task," he said. The task should be completed by June when the Set-Plan's wind initiative will be officially launched by the Spanish EU presidency.

Wind training

TPWind has, on several occasions, requested the creation of an EU wind training institute. Such a body failed to appear on the EC's wind roadmap under the Set-Plan, but TPWind is determined to push the plan through. Fichaux assured Windpower Monthly that "an EU training institute is still on the cards; we are still pushing for it".

Gagliardi said that a lack of specialised human resources could cause a bottleneck to the development of wind and promised that the organisation will produce a report by 2012 on the training needs of EU wind energy operators. "The study could represent the starting point for identifying gaps in the current EU wind energy training offer and developing adequate initiatives to bridge those gaps," he said.

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