EU plans to boost domestic wind industry competitiveness against China – media report
The EU is responding to the expansion of the Chinese wind industry by developing a plan to make the domestic industry more competitive, EU Commission sources told business daily Handelsblatt. Measures include support for companies from the European Investment Bank, faster approval procedures, and a plea to member states to consider “economic security” rather than just price when auctioning wind farms.“Chinese manufacturers currently have an unfair advantage in the wind industry. They operate in a highly subsidised environment that allows them to offer their wind technology at very competitive prices,” Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Siemens-Gamesa, one of the four largest wind manufacturers outside of China, told Handelsblatt.
In her recent State of the Union Address, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen had announced measures to stabilise the wind industry, which will be presented in full at the end of October, according to Handelsblatt. Von der Leyen pointed to the example of Europe's solar industry, which was an industry leader but largely collapsed when production moved to China. “We haven’t forgotten how China’s unfair trading practices had an impact on our solar industry,” said von der Leyen.
Concerns about Chinese competition in green technologies has risen sharply in Germany and the European Union. Germany's economy minister Robert Habeck has warned against over-reliance on Chinese supply chains, though he also expressed opposition to economic decoupling from the economic giant. The European Commission has already launched an anti-subsidy investigation into the imports of battery electric vehicles (BEV) from China, which have taken the lead in the shift toward low-emission vehicles.