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European wind industry contributes billions to EU’s GDP

European wind industry contributes billions to EU’s GDP

New report, ‘Local Impact, Global Leadership’ by Deloitte for WindEurope and published last week shows the European wind industry contributed €36 billion to the EU’s GDP in 2016, supporting 263,000 jobs and generating €8 billion of exports outside of Europe.

The report presented at the WindEurope Conference & Exhibition in Amsterdam also concluded that European wind energy avoided the importation of €32 billion in fossil fuels between 2011 and 2016, and CO2 emissions of 166 million tonnes in 2016 alone.

The report’s authors also concluded that for every €1,000 of turnover generated in the wind industry, €250 of economic activity was created in other sectors such as metals, chemicals, electrical equipment and machinery, construction and engineering. The sector also brings quality jobs, with 82% of the 263,000 jobs being high-skilled.

“Wind is a smart choice for the economy. It’s a European industrial success story, comments Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO.

However, he has also issued a stark warning: “We need an EU renewables target of at least 35% by 2030. We need clarity on post-2020 volumes so the supply chain knows what to invest and where. We need R&D and industrial policies that help Europe maintain its technology lead and continue to export. If all this happens, wind could meet 30% of Europe’s power needs in 2030 and we’d generate more jobs and growth for the economy. But if it doesn’t, Europe will miss out on €92bn of investments and 132,000 jobs: that’s the cost of non-ambition”.

His view was echoed by Enercon’s Managing Director Hans-Dieter Kettwig: “Wind energy is making major contributions to economies on a national and international level. The main requirement for the wind industry and green, sustainable growth in Europe is a stable, reliable and long-term political framework post-2020. Visibility is crucial to industrial planning. When we see significant volumes in a market or a region, we invest in the supply chain as it provides economies of scale”