Letter from Adrian Timbus, Chair of the ETIPWind Executive Committee

Adrian Timbus, ETIPWind EXCO Chair

Despite of the COVID-19 crisis, 2020 was the year in which wind energy was resilient. Europe’s existing wind farms continued to operate, delivering electricity. And the industry continued installing new capacity and kept building new turbines in its factories.

This past year has been an important one for climate ambitions. The European Union (EU) pledged to become climate-neutral by 2050 as part of its Green Deal that will require more renewables-based electrification. Moreover, governments submitted their National Climate & Energy Plans (NECPs) for 2030 from which Europe expects to reach 397 GW of wind energy in the EU and UK in 2030.

To deliver on its ambitious climate and energy targets, Europe needs a strong and fit-for-purpose industrial and innovation programme. Horizon Europe is a crucial instrument to boost the competitiveness and development of the wind energy sector. For this reason, the programme must prioritise R&I funding in the technologies that will deliver the European Green Deal and where Europe is a global leader. This would mean an increased in wind R&I budget compared to Horizon 2020 and would include R&I money for incremental improvements in mature technologies like onshore wind.

In 2019 we published  our R&I Roadmap that provides a clear picture on how to get there and where to focus R&I investment in the short to long-term. This document sets out how we can target R&I to de-risk technology development and accelerate this large-scale deployment of cost-competitive wind energy and support the existing European supply chains.

But we need to see what happens beyond the wind energy sector. What will incentivise energy intensive sectors to switch to electricity? How should the grids be developed? And how can we create a flexible energy system and market suited to renewables? These questions and more will be answered at our ETIPWind High-level Event – before the summer – where we will present our vision on how Europe can actually achieve climate-neutrality. As well as at our workshops, webinar and other events.

We are looking forward to collaborating very closely with all of you.

Adrian Timbus