May 21, 2024
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EESC Urges Wind Power  Expansion for Green Transition

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has endorsed the expansion and modernization of energy grids, incorporation of socio-environmental criteria in auctions, and comprehensive public involvement to optimize wind power utilization in the green energy transition.

According to an opinion adopted at the EESC’s March plenary session and drafted by Thomas Kattnig, a robust wind industry could significantly enhance the environmental, economic, and social well-being of the EU.

The document emphasized the need for the European Union to bolster its wind industry in response to increasing competition from global players like China.

To achieve this goal, the EU must substantially enlarge, modernize, and digitalize its grid infrastructure while simultaneously establishing corresponding storage facilities.

Thomas Kattnig remarked, “The European wind industry is an important pillar of the green transition. Developing grids for connecting, transmitting, and distributing wind power will make it possible to integrate a substantially increased volume of wind power into the energy system.”

Highlighting wind power as critical infrastructure, the statement stressed the importance of aligning all approval procedures for tenders and permits with stringent digitalization and acceleration measures.

Moreover, the EESC advocated for the implementation of high pre-qualification criteria in renewable energy auctions to ensure compliance with strict environmental, labor, and social standards by all bidders.

The committee also underscored the significance of upholding security, occupational safety, collective bargaining, and environmental requirements by companies, emphasizing the promotion of a circular economy.

EESC criticized purely price-based auctions for fostering a race to the bottom detrimental to the environment and workers.

It urged recognition of companies’ contributions to social, economic, and energy efficiency aspects and advocated for effective citizen participation as the seventh pillar of the proposed Wind Power Action Plan by the European Commission.


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