International

EU’s new Wind Power Package to supercharge deployment and bolster supply chain

Tor Arne Johnsen and Martine Farstad are EU advisors in Norwegian Offshore Wind.
by Arne Vatnøy
Communication manager

Today, the EU introduced an Action Plan to address the slow deployment of wind energy, complex permitting procedures, and the gap between targets and actual progress.

To expedite the deployment of wind power and meet the EU's 2030 renewable energy target, the European Commission is taking proactive steps by introducing a Wind Power Package to support the European wind power sector. With this, they aim to achieve offshore renewable energy ambitions. 

The Wind Power Package includes a European Wind Power Action Plan, focusing on accelerating deployment through increased predictability and faster permitting, improving auction design, ensuring access to finance, creating a fair and competitive international environment, addressing skills, and securing industry engagement and Member State commitments.

-This commitment from the EU signals an understanding that the industry needs predictability to develop a robust offshore wind industry and a competitive supply chain, says Martine Farstad, EU Adviser in Norwegian Offshore Wind.

This commitment from the EU signals an understanding that the industry needs predictability to develop a robust offshore wind industry and a competitive supply chain, says Martine Farstad, EU Adviser in Norwegian Offshore Wind.

Martine Farstad, EU Adviser in Norwegian Offshore Wind

Offshore wind is an energy key

Currently, 1.2 GW of offshore wind power is being installed annually. Member States aim to achieve 111 GW of offshore renewables by 2030, nearly twice the European Commission's initial goal, signifying the need for an accelerated shift towards renewable energy. 

To reach the target, Europe must deploy at least 12 GW per year going forward. EU´s goal is to install 300 GW of renewable offshore energy by 2050. 

The Action Plan outlines 15 actions aimed at strengthening Europe's wind energy industry. Key areas of focus include auction design, where pre-qualification criteria for wind energy projects are proposed, covering data security, enhanced non-price award criteria, environmental protection, and delivery capabilities. The plan will also address negative bidding, bid ceilings, and their consequences in auction processes. Member States are encouraged to index auction prices and tariffs properly to address cost discrepancies.

-There is no doubt that offshore wind is a key in achieving the ambiguous energy targets set by the EU, and this plan underscores the importance of speedy processes, says Farstad. 

 

Increase in available funds

The plan also outlines measures to finance investments in clean tech manufacturing, with an increase in available funds under the EU Innovation Fund to €1.4 billion. The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide de-risking tools and counter-guarantees for private banks lending to the wind industry, and the EIB's lending policy will cover manufacturing in addition to wind farm financing.

Increased visibility of the wind projects pipeline and deployment, monitoring possible unfair trade practices, and permitting acceleration are key components of the plan, with the Commission launching a digital permitting tool by the end of 2023.

Alongside the Action Plan, the European Commission launched a Communication on Delivering on the EU offshore renewable energy ambitions, which underscores the important role offshore renewables will play in achieving the EU's energy and climate targets for 2030 and 2050.

The Communication takes stock of the progress achieved thus far and addresses the primary challenges ahead, offering a path forward. This involves establishing cross-border offshore grids with cost-effective analysis, expediting permitting, improving maritime spatial planning for cooperation with other sea industries, enhancing infrastructure resilience and maritime security, supporting research and innovation to maintain EU technology leadership, and helping EU supply chains become competitive while achieving higher offshore capacity ambitions through dedicated trade dialogues with industry participation.

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