WindEnergy Hamburg: Wind industry leaders demand 'decisive action' from politicians

Leaders of the wind and hydrogen industry have called on Europe's politicians to support industry in the opening session of WindEnergy Hamburg 2022 this week (27-30 September).

Ben Backwell, Dennis Rendschmidt and Sven Utermöhlen (left to right) at WindEnergy Hamburg 2022 (Pic credit: Hamburg Messe und Congress/Michael Zapf)
Ben Backwell, Dennis Rendschmidt and Sven Utermöhlen (left to right) at WindEnergy Hamburg 2022 (Pic credit: Hamburg Messe und Congress/Michael Zapf)

The joint “Hamburg declaration on wind power's response to the energy and climate crises” calls on governments to take "decisive action" to support the wind industry.

The competition for the lowest prices, along with insufficient market dynamics and supply chain issues "have given rise to a trend that weakens Europe as a business place for the wind industry", warned Dennis Rendschmidt, managing director of German engineering industry association VDMA Power Systems. "Setting political expansion goals alone will not be enough to resolve these issues," he said.

Echoing strong calls for Europe-wide action to safeguard the wind industry by Siemens Gamesa, which launched coinciding with the Hamburg event, Rendschmidt stressed that governments "must recognise wind energy as a strategic sector" in national and regional industrial policy and ensure that turbine manufacturers and the wind supply chain have "full and unrestricted access" to the components and materials they need. 

“Concrete industrial development plans and the right trade policies can allow the wind industry to plan for healthy and sustainable supply chain development,” he said.

Ben Backwell, CEO of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), said wind power and other renewable energies, including green hydrogen, must be at the centre of political decision-making to create a "reliable, long-term perspective" for the continuous expansion of wind energy.

 "Only clear and ambitious policy frameworks for the deployment of wind and renewable energy, with a long-term horizon of ten-plus years, can help to align energy and climate goals with market forces," he said. Governments, he added, must "urgently streamline the planning and permitting processes, improve their network infrastructures, and further develop the power markets".

Accelerating the build-out of renewable energies is "an important answer to the current energy crisis", agreed Sven Utermöhlen, chairman of industry association WindEurope and CEO for offshore wind at RWE Renewables. 

This means effective grid planning, investment and infrastructure expansion to deliver, manage and store ever-increasing amounts of renewable energy is also critical. “Simplified, streamlined and digitalised permitting processes and an accelerated, coordinated and integrated grid expansion are essential preconditions for achieving this,” Utermöhlen added.

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