MOSCOW, 17 Oct – PRIME. In an interview with the Financial Times, Siemens Gamesa CEO Jochen Eickholt called for guaranteed quotas for wind turbine generators produced in the EU to cope with main competitor China.
The head of one of Europe’s largest wind turbine manufacturers has called for a quota on the number of turbines made in and installed in the EU as the sector seeks to compete with cheaper Chinese imports and the bloc seeks energy security.
If Europe is serious about its energy independence and the role of wind power, Eickholt said, then turbines should be seen as critical and strategically important infrastructure, and measures should be put in place to support the industry.
Eickholt also noted that there is “definitely a risk” that the wind turbine industry will become similar to the solar panel industry, where Chinese manufacturers dominate the market and the supply chain, as the International Energy Agency warned in its July report.
“You should see that we are facing Chinese competition in all global markets and also increasingly in Europe,” the CEO said, adding that Chinese manufacturers often receive “additional support, usually from national or regional sources.” and that their spending on innovation is in some cases 10 times higher than in Europe. “At the end of the day, we feel like there’s an unbalanced fight going on, or at least we don’t have the same level of opportunity,” Eickholt added.
Siemens Gamesa is a Spanish-German wind energy company headquartered in Spain. It is the second largest manufacturer of wind turbines in the world.