The €5 billion plan, approved by the European Parliament last May, includes €565 million for offshore wind power projects and additional funds for upgrading and building new electricity grids, but the EU’s slow legislative procedures have prevented a timely release of the funds.
Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive Officer of EWEA, said: “The EU needs to speed up its stimulus package – it’s taking too long. The €565 million allocated to new offshore wind energy projects would be a welcome boost for growth in the new offshore wind industry, but to be fully effective the funds need to be allocated quickly.”
Planned offshore wind construction projects in the North Sea could provide 10% of Europe’s electricity and save 200 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
European Wind Energy Association recently published a blueprint for building a North Sea Grid and it urges the Commission and Transmission System Operators to take its recommendations into account. “EWEA’s new offshore network plan provides for a truly pan-European electricity super highway,” Kjaer said.
EWEA is the voice of the wind industry, actively promoting the utilisation of wind power in Europe and worldwide. It now has over 600 members from almost 60 countries, including manufacturers with a 90% share of the world wind power market, plus component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, developers, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies and consultants. This combined strength makes EWEA the world’s largest and most powerful wind energy network.