Central, Eastern Europe wind power expansion faces challenges: study
Vienna (Platts)--6Feb2013/717 am EST/1217 GMT
Investors looking at wind power opportunities in Central and Eastern
Europe need to be cautious, but the region offers growth potential, according
to a study released Thursday by the European Wind Energy Association at its
annual conference in Vienna.
The "Eastern Winds" report ranks countries within three groups: a "first
wave" of the more promising candidates -- Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania
and Turkey; a "second wave" covering the Czech Republic, Croatia and Ukraine;
and a "future markets" category of more distant prospects in Serbia,
Slovakia, Slovenia and Russia.
"Russia has a ridiculously low target for wind and no political will to
encourage renewables against domestic gas," EWEA said as it presented the
report at the conference.
"But if this changes, Russia would be a real player on the global wind
market," EWEA head political analyst Jacopo Moccia said.
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"Wind energy in Central and Eastern Europe, including Turkey, will
substantially reduce the fossil fuel dependency of the power sectors," EWEA
Chief Executive Christian Kjaer said as he announced the report Tuesday. "But
some countries -- such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Bulgaria -- are
without stable renewable energy legislation, and investors and banks will
withdraw unless governments put in place long-term renewable energy
EWEA said the 12 Central and Eastern European countries that joined the
EU in 2004 and 2006 plan to increase wind power capacity to 16 GW by
end-2020, up from 6.4 GW at end-2012. This would be enough to supply 9
million households. And it added that Turkey aimed to boost capacity to 20 GW
by 2023, up from 2.3 GW presently.
Responding to questions on Ukraine, EWEA pointed to uncertainties,
noting "no interest [by investors] when there is no investment security."
Companies are nevertheless exploring the possibilities.
"We have a team working in the country," Inigo Sabater Eizaguirre, vice
president for government relations at Danish wind turbine maker Vestas, told
reporters at the conference.
"Our position is to let the market decide," he added, noting that local
content would be important to any decision."
Michael Sponring of consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers, who worked on
the study, also observed that connecting to the power grid would be difficult
in many of the emerging countries.
--George Hamilton, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by James Leech, email@example.com