German wind turbine maker Enercon to cut 3,000 jobs
German wind turbine maker Enercon has announced it will cut up to 3,000 jobs, saying the federal government's energy policy has led to a market slump for onshore wind power, writes the news agency dpa. The company currently has around 18,000 employees worldwide and expects the cuts mainly to hit branches in northern Germany. Enercon's managing director Hans-Dieter Kettwig said the government's "current energy and climate policies not only put expertise built up over years and jobs in our sector at risk, they are also a threat to climate protection and the energy transition in general." Furthermore, the government's climate action package has made it clear that "problems will become even greater for us," said Kettwig. The package stipulates new minimum distance rules for onshore wind turbines from residential areas, a move that market players have warned could put the country's wind power industry in danger. Following Enercon's announcement, national wind power lobby group BWE spoke of a "last wake-up call.” An Enercon spokesperson told dpa that talks with federal and state politicians are scheduled for the coming days.
Wind is Germany’s most important source of renewable power and vital to its energy transition, but the sector's expansion almost came to a standstill in the first half of 2019. Thousands of planned onshore wind projects are currently on hold due to regulatory conflicts and protest groups are challenging new installations in court. Engineering association VDMA Power Systems has recently warned that a persisting slump would put nearly one-third of all jobs in the industry at risk.