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From financial crisis and austerity to the uncertainty crisis
Special statement on the European energy uncertainty crisis
The financial and economic crisis has provoked a wave of uncertainty across the European Union since 2010, with national Governments making damaging retroactive changes to policies and regulations for wind energy. This political uncertainty is deterring financiers and investors and has already caused job losses and negative financial result announcements.
The European wind industry is delivering the benefits of wind energy in the most affordable way, while progressing towards competitiveness in a market conceived and developed for conventional technologies. The industry is investing to bring down the cost of wind energy, and already has a positive track record in this respect.
Wind energy has created thousands of jobs in Europe - employing almost 240,000 people (in 2010). The European wind industry generates exports worth €8.8bn (2010). Investments facilitated by well-designed support mechanisms help drive down costs – both capital costs and the cost of finance - and will enable on-going reduction, and ultimately remove the need for specific support.
The EU needs to more than double its installed wind power to meet its binding targets. This means installing over 12 GW per year for the next 8 years. 11.5 GW of wind energy capacity was installed in 2012, but installations are expected to fall this year and next. By scaring off investors now, and undermining the return on existing investments in renewables, EU national governments set themselves a much more difficult and expensive task for future years.
By deterring wind energy investment, Governments are throwing away opportunities to create jobs and growth in Europe, improve security of energy supply, cut the cost of fossil fuel imports, reduce pollution and tackle climate change.
Read an EWEA blog post by CEO Christian Kjaer on this issue.