Investment In European Wind Industry Falls In 2022

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By Paul Homewood

From Wind-Europe:


The problem is inflation, with costs rising at a higher rate than prospective revenues. Investors are also being turned away by unhelpful national interventions in electricity markets.

The EU must make Europe an attractive place for renewables investments again – the forthcoming market design proposals must address this. The fall in investments and turbine orders is also compounding the problems faced by Europe’s wind energy supply chain. The Net-Zero Industry Act can’t come soon enough.   

WindEurope latest data on wind turbine orders in Europe in 2022 paints an extremely worrying picture. Total orders for new wind turbines in 2022 fell by 47% on 2021. The EU saw only 9 GW worth of new turbine orders. This reflects a fall in new investments in wind energy that were announced last year: the first 11 months saw final investment decisions for only 12 GW of new wind farms.** The EU needs to build 30 GW of new wind farms a year under its new energy and climate security targets.

The EU has big ambitions for offshore wind: to get from more than 15 GW today to over 100 GW by 2030. Several offshore wind farms were expected to reach financial close last year, but final investment decisions were delayed due to inflation, market interventions and uncertainty about future revenues.

Inflation impacting investments

Inflation in commodity prices and other input costs has raised the price of wind turbines, by up to 40% over the last two years. But the prospective revenues of those planning to build wind farms have not kept pace with this. Many governments index the prices paid for wind energy (usually determined in auctions), but not enough. And the long time-lag between developers deciding their auction bids and their turbine suppliers actually procuring their components doesn’t help either. Governments need to ensure full indexation.

The simple truth is that wind power has only thrived in Europe because of the generous subsidies doled out. It will never be competitive in a free and open market, because its intermittency makes it worthless.