As part of EU Sustainable Energy Week, WindEurope has been at the heart of several events promoting the interests of the wind industry.
On Tuesday, WindEurope organised an Energy Day event on A (C)lean energy transition: Innovative approaches to the offshore wind supply chain. The event focused on some of the key questions related to the impacts of innovative approaches to the offshore wind supply chain, including job creation and growth opportunities, market creation potential, environmental impacts and community engagement. These are themes developed in the framework of the EU-funded LEANWIND project. LEANWIND is working to bring cost reductions to the offshore wind energy industry through the application of lean principles to key aspects of an offshore wind farm and supply chain.
Flexible Energy Markets: New Players, New Rules
On Wednesday, the IDEAS platform for demand-side flexibility, of which WindEurope is a member, organised a policy debate entitled Flexible Energy Markets: New Players, New Rules. Bringing together energy associations, industrial players, system operators, the IEA and representatives of the forthcoming Estonian EU Presidency, this debate aimed to confront concrete ideas on the new electricity market rules required to see the emergence of disruptive players and make the best use of innovative and distributed flexibility options.
The event was also the occasion to present the latest joint letter of the IDEAS platform, which invites policy-makers to take due account of demand-side flexibility potential when discussing the Clean Energy Package.
Debate on the Governance of the Energy Union
Also on Wednesday, WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson participated in a panel debate on the Governance of the Energy Union, organised by the European Commission. The Governance legislative proposal, tabled by in November 2016, looks into organising the collective efforts of Member States to deliver the 2030 EU renewable energy target.
The debate offered an opportunity for stakeholders to exchange on new legislation currently being discussed by the Member States and the European Parliament. WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson stressed that the energy transition is so complex that it requires careful planning. He insisted that Member States need to outline, as soon as possible and in detail, their post-2020 renewable energy commitments in the 2030 National Energy & Climate Plans. Only early visibility on the project pipeline for renewables will allow the industry to prepare the next investment cycle and sustain the cost reduction trend in the sector to the benefit of European consumers.
A post-2020 renewables support framework for the energy transition
Meanwhile, the Brussels-based renewable energy trade associations for wind, solar PV, solar thermal, ocean and geothermal energy organised a joint session on the future support framework for renewable energy. The session gathered EU co-legislators and industry representatives to examine the best practices for the promotion of renewables across the EU and across technologies and to make recommendations for the post-2020 Renewable Energy Directive, currently being discussed between Member States and the European Parliament.
The wind industry was represented by Mr Ruben Dijkstra, Director for Offshore wind at Eneco. Discussing the latest Dutch offshore wind tenders, which have set the trend for the significant cost reductions in the sector since mid-2016, he emphasised that the clear long-term policy vision and deployment volumes provided by the Dutch Government was a crucial factor in enabling the offshore industry to invest in the supply chain necessary to support new installations (e.g. ships, ports). Such clear-eyed policy vision was also key to incentivizing research and innovation for the deployment of newer, bigger, and more efficient wind turbines that have helped cut offshore wind costs.
Participants agreed that different renewable energy technologies provide different benefits to national energy systems. Therefore, post-2020 support schemes should be tailored to the different risk profiles of these technologies if the EU is to benefit from its renewables’ potential to decarbonise the economy by 2050.