Renewables

WindEurope urges for grid buildout acceleration to meet renewables goals

Tardieu WindEurope urges grid buildout acceleration renewables goals

Photo: WindEurope/Vimeo

Published

March 15, 2024

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Published:

March 15, 2024

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At WindEurope’s Annual Event on March 20-22, the industry will mostly focus on ways to accelerate the buildout of grids, a segment that is becoming its number one bottleneck. Chief Policy Officer Pierre Tardieu said system operators would change their investment model, turning to the market for project finance.

Ahead of its Annual Event in Bilbao next week, WindEurope highlighted grid development as key for achieving climate and energy goals in the European Union and the entire continent. In a conversation published on the organization’s Windflix video platform, Chief Executive Officer Giles Dickson (pictured left) and CPO Pierre Tardieu also stressed the importance of scaling up manufacturing and strengthening the entire supply chain.

The gathering in Spain on March 20-22 follows the release of WindEurope’s annual statistics and outlook. Europe installed 18.3 GW of new wind power capacity in 2023 and the sum of new investments doubled year over year. The association said 27.3 GW of new wind power capacity was awarded in auctions across 13 countries.

Grids to be developed like any other infrastructure

As for projections, WindEurope sees additions in the European Union by the end of the decade at an average of 29 GW per year. It puts ambitious decarbonization goals within striking distance, as far as the wind industry is concerned.

In 2030, the installations of onshore and offshore wind are going to be roughly even for the first time, the document’s authors estimated, under the condition that grid expansion keeps up. WindEurope also pointed to Ember’s new report on electricity network development.

System operators so far leaned on grid tariffs for financing

“The grids are becoming the number one bottleneck for wind deployment in Europe. And therefore, the EU has put together this Grid Action Plan, which is the next big focus here,” Tardieu noted. He and Dickson also agreed that the Wind Power Package and European Wind Charter would help.

System operators are changing their investment model, Tardieu underscored and explained that so far they leaned on grid tariffs in electricity bills. “They are going to go to find debt on the markets to do project finance. And basically, this is going to be developed like any other infrastructure,” he stated.

EIB has role in accelerating wind power investments

The European Investment Bank is set to help leverage the private finance at low capital costs, WindEurope’s top officials asserted.

In cooperation with Politico, the organization is hosting a debate of candidates for the European Parliament, from the five main groups, at the Annual Event in the Basque Autonomous Community.

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