Tokyo Westward Group Energy Alternatives Europe’s Wind-Turbine Makers Are Pleading For More Political Support
In some countries, such as Brazil, windpower is already competitive without subsidies, and as the technology continues to develop there will be more such markets. But in Europe that point is still far off: Siemens is aiming to cut the cost of electricity from offshore turbines to ten euro cents a kilowatt-hour by 2020, from around 14 cents now, but this is still well above the current cost of fossil-fuel generation.
So Europe’s specialist renewables firms are pleading for help. A group of the firms’ bosses, including Mr Runevad, has gone to Brussels to call on the EU to impose a further round of binding renewable-energy targets on each member, for the decade to 2030. The EU’s initial proposals for energy policy during this period, announced in January, did not include these.
Mr Runevad and his fellow windpower bosses argue that compulsory targets would encourage power utilities to buy lots of wind turbines, helping their makers achieve economies of scale. Maybe, but there is a more sensible way for Europe to accelerate the switch to renewable energy and boost its wind-turbine makers. It should reform its crippled market in emissions permits, in particular by scrapping the exemptions from having to buy permits that many polluting industries enjoy. If the turbine-makers were to lobby for this, rather than pleading for a guaranteed market share, it would be a sign of an industry confident of its future.