In mid-May, the WindEurope Association issued a report with a set of statistical data about the impact of the developing European wind energy on the economic indicators of small communities and individual industries. The paper states that in the last decade wind energy has transitioned from a niche category to a real industrial sector that provides the continent with clean, competitive and reliable energy. Owing to this, Europe has built a world-beating local manufacturing of miscellaneous wind-turbine components, as well as assembly and installation equipment.
As a result, wind energy contributes about €36 bn to the EU GDP, it has created 263,000 jobs and its export income amounts to €8 bn. However, the effects of the industry development for individual EU territories are less known, and the new report is called to shed light to these data.
The report titled Local Impact, Global Leadership provides data on the industry's entire production chain, individual success stories, as well as individual country factsheets. It describes the benefits that various local communities in Europe derive from wind farms, the contribution of wind power plants to local economic activity in taxes paid to local budgets (often amounting to 20% of overall municipal revenues).
It also informs how the sector helps localities with certain traditionally developed branches of industry. Thus, shipbuilders in Northern Spain and Northern Poland are now engaged in making wind turbine towers and bases, cranes and self-elevating vessels for erecting offshore wind power plants. Steel and chemical enterprises are also profiting from it.
Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO, underlined that "We have a simple goal to show that the more is invested into wind energy, the more benefits local communities will have. Owing to the well-known States' industry development plans, potential investors know how and where to invest".
The WindEurope CEO also emphasized that we should strive to raise the wind power share in the energy mix to 35% by 2030, as it would mean the creation of 132,000 additional jobs and €92 bn of investments compared to the less ambitious 27% target. A summit of the EU energy ministers will be held on June 11 to decide on the target.