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Allen & York Interview - Justin Wilkes, Policy Director, EWEA - European Wind and Energy Association
Submitted by miriam on Tue, 08/03/2010 - 11:04.
ALLEN & YORK INTERVIEW - JUSTIN WILKES, POLICY DIRECTOR, EWEA - EUROPEAN WIND AND ENERGY ASSOCIATION
Allen & York were delighted to have the opportunity to interview Justin, we asked him about claims that the 'Supergrid' will make Europe switch their energy reliance; the 'future star' countries/areas for renewable energy production; future skills gaps, and proposed initiatives to develop professionals; and the role of Wave and Tidal energy within Europe renewable energy generation.
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) is the voice of the wind industry, actively promoting the utilisation of wind power in Europe and worldwide. It now has over 600 members from nearly 60 countries including manufacturers with a 90% share of the global wind power market, plus component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewable associations, developers, contractors, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies and consultants. This combined strength makes EWEA the world’s largest and most powerful wind energy network.
WE ASKED JUSTIN THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS
Q1 -Some claim that the supergrid will cause the EU to simply switch their reliance on Middle Eastern oil and Russian gas to North African solar and eastern and southern wind. Would this merely provide another excuse for 'inaction' rather than encourage governments and global energy groups to improve existing 'in country' renewable energy sources?
Q1 - Some claim that the supergrid will cause the EU to simply switch their reliance on Middle Eastern oil and Russian gas to North African solar and eastern and southern wind. Would this merely provide another excuse for 'inaction' rather than encourage governments and global energy groups to improve existing 'in country' renewable energy sources?
The supergrid is vital for the European wind industry to continue its development across Europe, providing enough electricity to negate the need to import solar and wind energy from outside of the EU. The supergrid would instead allow EU countries to pool their wind resources, selling in times of surplus electricity and buying in times when the supply is low. The wind will always be blowing somewhere in Europe – from the Mediterranean to the North Sea - and with the supergrid the whole of Europe can benefit from sustainable, clean and affordable electricity. European countries will in any case develop their domestic renewable energy resources in order to benefit from the jobs they will bring, energy security and lower CO2 emissions.
Q2 - Which countries /areas to you envisage being the 'future stars' for renewable energy production over the coming years?
Denmark, Spain and Germany are the wind energy pioneers in Europe and still maintain high positions when it comes to wind energy. But wind power’s reach is spreading fast. EWEA expects 10,000 MW of new wind power capacity to be installed in the EU during 2010, taking total installed capacity by the end of 2010 to almost 85 GW - an increase of 13%.
We predict another strong year for wind turbine installations in Europe, repeating the high level achieved in 2009. What is encouraging is that, unlike in 2009, the 2010 results consist of orders placed after the start of the financial crisis. This shows continued and strong investor confidence in the technology. It is too early to say whether, for a third year running, there will be more wind energy capacity installed than any other electricity generating technology, but it is clear that wind energy will be competing for the top spot with new gas power plants. 2010 will see more installations in offshore wind power, with up to 1 GW of new capacity expected to be installed during the year compared to 577 MW installed in 2009.
EWEA expects France and Italy to again install around 1 GW each in 2010. The expected decline in installations in Spain will be more than compensated for by a doubling of installations in the new member states – led by Romania and Bulgaria - and significant growth in the UK, particularly offshore. Germany is expected to be the largest market this year, closely followed by the UK.
Q3 - Where do you see the skills gaps and what are the proposed initiatives to develop and train the energy professionals of the future?
The European wind industry - together with the European Commission and Member States - has developed a ten year research and development programme. With a budget of €6 billion, approximately half of which will be provided by the industry, the European Wind Initiative was launched in June. Its implementation will pave the way for the large-scale deployment of wind energy worldwide, and secure long-term European technological and market leadership.
The EWI will take the European wind industry to the next stage. It will develop the wind energy technology of the future, the necessary testing facilities, and streamlined manufacturing processes. The European Commission has highlighted that “more than 250,000 skilled jobs could be created” in the wind industry as a result.
Q4 - What part do you think wave and tidal technologies will play in the future of Europe's renewable energy generation?
EREC, the European Renewable Energy Council, has recently projected that Europe can be run 100% on renewable energies by 2050, with a significant contribution from wave and tidal power. Although wind will play a big part in achieving this, other technologies, including wave and tidal, have a significant role to play.
If Europe succeeds in reaching the 100% target, it will see its energy related emissions of carbon dioxide reduced by more than 90%, a drop that would result in a financial benefit of €3,800 billion. Today around 10% of Europe’s energy needs are met by renewables, but according to EREC, this could rise to 40% by 2030, and 100% by 2050 – with wind power providing around half of this amount.
Our thanks to Justin Wilkes and if you are interested in taking part in an interview with Allen & York please email - our Communications Team