Madrid, Spain — As the Spanish EU Presidency launched the ‘European Wind Initiative (EWI) – a €6 billion ten year research and development roadmap for the wind energy sector – the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) said that, if properly funded, it would give European companies a competitive boost.
“The European Wind Initiative is a big step forward in our efforts to maintain and strengthen Europe’s global leadership in wind energy technology,” said Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA. “The industry is ready to invest in accelerated R&D but the challenge is for the European Commission to come up with a plan to ensure its contribution. Other regions of the world are investing significantly more in public research than the EU and its Member States and it remains to be seen how the EU will make its contribution.”
The EWI is the result of several years of joint effort by the European wind energy sector, the European Commission and EU Member States working towards common goals that include:
- Maintain Europe’s technology leadership in both onshore and offshore wind power
- Enable wind energy to supply 20% of Europe’s electricity in 2020, 33% in 2030, and 50% in 2050
- Create 250,000 new skilled jobs in the EU in the wind energy sector by 2020
The EWI focuses on four main technology areas: new turbines and components, offshore technology, grid integration, resource assessment and spatial planning.