The COVID-19 crisis now has reaching impacts on the wind energy supply chain as European countries apply measures to contain the outbreak.
National Governments recognise the critical role of the wind industry in ensuring a continued supply of electricity to European consumers and businesses. Reliable electricity supply is a prerequisite for the functioning of public services, such as national health care systems – and therefore more important than ever. Governments have rightfully taken steps to ensure that the operation and maintenance of wind farms continues across Europe.
Alongside this, it is critical that the wind industry can continue to produce essential equipment in its factories. The industry is organizing its workforce to protect health and safety, in many cases significantly reducing the number of workers on site. But national Governments need to allow for essential manufacturing processes to continue, in particular for the production of components without which global wind energy supply chains will grind to a halt.
The guiding principle should be the clear statement from EU Heads of Government of 26 March: “the EU (…) will also do its utmost to strengthen the sustainability of global integrated value and supply chains to adapt them as necessary and to alleviate the negative socio-economic impact of the crisis.”
300,000 Europeans work in wind energy. It’s 15% of Europe’s electricity – and the EU Commission see it being 50% by 2050. Wind energy is central to Europe’s Green Deal and to the economic recovery that the Green Deal will drive. Again, the Heads of Governments were clear last week: “We should (…) start to prepare (…) to get back to a normal functioning of our societies and economies and to sustainable growth, integrating the green transition and the digital transformation”.
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