WindEurope challenges EC to retain manufacturing in Europe

The wind industry’s leading association in Europe has called on the European Commission (EC) to support the manufacturing sector as part of the European green deal.

The number of manufacturing jobs in Europe has fallen in recent years as OEMs seek to relieve some of the pricing pressure (pic: SGRE)

Jobs within turbine manufacturing and the wider supply chain have fluctuated with the growth of the industry.

But OEMs have come under increasing price pressures and are beginning to look to cheaper markets to produce the hardware for the industry.

WindEurope claimed 38,000 jobs were lost in Germany alone in the past four years, but this can also be blamed on Germany's policy vacuum resulting in pre-2000 levels of activity in 2019.

WindEurope wants a forthcoming industrial strategy being developed by the EC as part of the European green deal to "send a strong signal that Europe wants its companies to stay global champions".

"The document should include an export strategy for renewables, so Europeans can match Asian companies that currently outcompete us on terms of finance in non-EU markets," WindEurope said.

The lobby group complained that Chinese firms are able to beat European companies in global markets because of the larger economies of scale and government backing.

"The European Union (EU) needs five times more wind than it has today to go climate neutral. The question is: will these turbines be made in Europe?" asked WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson.

"The European green deal can be the EU's growth strategy as the EC president, Ursula von der Leyen said. This starts now with an Industrial Strategy that recognises wind energy. And ensures climate neutrality translates into hundreds of thousands of wind jobs here in Europe," he added.