Steel Safeguards to Increase Cost Pressures on EU Wind Industry
WindEurope said that European Commission extension of steel safeguard measures for a further three years will add to cost pressures for wind turbine and component manufacturers as it impact heavy plate used in the fabrication of steel wind towers and non-grain-oriented electrical steel used in motors and generators. WindEurope Chief Policy Officer Mr Pierre Tardieu said “Steel prices have increased dramatically over the past year. In some cases they have doubled. Steel is the single most important raw material for the European wind industry. Higher steel prices increase the costs of making towers, gearboxes, nacelles, transformers, and offshore foundations. Last week’s decision to extend steel safeguard measures is unhelpful for a rapid and cost-effective energy transition to renewables.”
WindEurope said that “In the medium-term additional costs may be passed on down the supply chain to developers, though this will make it more difficult to deliver continued reductions in electricity prices.
However, in the short-term component and wind turbine manufacturers will have to absorb these additional costs. Cumbersome national permitting processes mean there is a shortage of projects for wind industry manufacturers. This is putting pressure on margins as seen in the financial reports of the publicly listed wind turbine manufacturers.”
It added “The economic sustainability of the European wind industry is at risk. Higher costs mean less capital available to invest in state-of-the-art manufacturing and research & development. Under-investment in these areas could cause the European industry to lose the global race for technology leadership in wind energy. WindEurope calls for a more holistic approach to trade policy that better supports the interests of future-proof green industries such as wind energy.”