"The European Wind Initiative is a big step forward in our efforts to maintain and strengthen Europe’s global leadership in wind energy technology", said Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), in Madrid at the SET-Plan Conference organised by the Spanish EU Presidency.
"The industry is ready to invest in accelerated R&D but the challenge is for the European Commission to come up with a plan to ensure its contribution. Other regions of the world are investing significantly more in public research than the EU and its Member States and it remains to be seen how the EU will make its contribution."
The EWI is the result of several years of joint effort by the European wind energy sector, the European Commission and EU Member States working towards three common goals, to:
* maintain Europe’s technology leadership in both onshore and offshore wind power
* make onshore wind power the most competitive energy source by 2020, with offshore wind power following by 2030;
* enable wind energy to supply 20% of Europe’s electricity in 2020, 33% in 2030, and 50% in 2050;
* create 250,000 new skilled jobs in the EU in the wind energy sector by 2020.
The EWI focuses on four main technology areas: new wind turbines and components, offshore wind farm technology, grid integration, resource assessment and spatial planning.