Renewables

WindEurope on EU elections – center-right expected to partly revise European Green Deal

WindEurope EU elections center right expected partly revise European Green Deal

Photo: WindEurope/Vimeo

Published

June 19, 2024

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Published:

June 19, 2024

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Electricity-intensive industry and the wind power sector are looking for assurances regarding the European Green Deal from the administration in Brussels, following the changes that the European elections brought. WindEurope pointed out that conventional parties remained in the driving seat and that the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) became much more influential.

The wind power industry, represented by WindEurope, launched an initiative to secure a confirmation from the European Union’s main institutions on the electrification of industrial production. In cooperation with steel, cement, chemicals and metals associations, it is demanding guidelines on the way forward. Mainstream political parties have a smaller majority after the recent European elections.

Speaking on WindEurope’s Windflix video platform, Chief Executive Officer Giles Dickson (pictured left) and Chief Policy Officer Pierre Tardieu noted that the socialists, liberals, greens and, “wherever possible, the EPP or at least bits of the center-right” have passed the main pieces of legislation under the European Green Deal.

“The EPP has gained seats. It’s much more influential and we will need basically all of the EPP to pass anything going forward. So the center-right is really central now to the political game,” Tardieu pointed out.

Policy tweaks possible in agriculture, internal combustion engine ban, extension of EU ETS to households

The center-right European People’s Party participates in the push to accelerate renewables deployment, the electrification agenda and, in particular, the electrification of industry.

Chemicals, steel, aluminium, copper and cement are all a vital part of the European wind supply chain

“There are bits of the Green Deal that they are less comfortable with… anything having to do with farmers. The internal combustion engine ban by 2035 is something that they’re going to want to look at – potentially delay or even reverse,” Tardieu stressed. He added revisions are possible in matters directly impacting households, for example the extension of the Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

“Chemicals, steel, aluminium, copper and cement are all a vital part of the European wind supply chain. Europe needs strong energy and electricity-intensive industries in order to deliver the massive expansion of renewables. We must aim for materials and equipment for energy and other infrastructure to be made in Europe. That requires globally competitive clean energy and access to raw materials,” the joint statement reads.

Energy crisis has decimated industrial production

Current policies are not yet offering enabling the necessary frameworks, the associations said. Energy-intensive industries have experienced unprecedented curtailment of production in recent years due to the impact of the energy crisis, they stressed.

Addressing this challenge must be at the core of a new industrial deal for Europe, for decarbonization and competitiveness, the groups added. Faster renewables deployment will help reduce energy bills for consumers, they claimed.

A modern onshore wind turbine contains around 120 tonnes of steel per megawatt of capacity, European Steel Association’s (EUROFER) Director General Axel Eggert said.

Similar petition gathered Europe’s renewable energy giants

Separately, a diverse group of companies, associations and nongovernmental organizations has launched a similar petition for EU leaders – in particular the European Council, which gathers the heads of state and government and the leadership of the administration in Brussels.

The list includes renewable energy giants EDP, EnBW, Enel Green Power, EDF, Engie, E.ON, Lightsource bp, Akuo, Iberdrola, Statkraft, Ørsted, Vattenfall and Verbund. Among the other notable heavyweights are Unilever, Amazon, easyJet, Fronius, Huawei, IKEA, Maersk and Schneider Electric.

SolarPower Europe is one of over four hundred signatories of the open letter, written before the elections.

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