Enercon: All European OEMs are stricken by problems

Germany’s wind turbine manufacturers issue a call to arms, warning that dramatic cost reductions in the sector are challenging companies.
Photo: Rabbalshede Kraft
Photo: Rabbalshede Kraft

All European wind turbine manufacturers are now having problems, and to create a more robust energy sector in Europe, it’s necessary to avoid focusing merely on price, said Enercon Chief Executive Jürgen Zeschky Tuesday at the WindEurope conference held in Bilbao, Spain, reports Recharge News.

During these last eight years, cost reductions have enabled price cuts, and lowered prices have driven development, said Zeschky.

”We have created a low-cost base, but the price has been outsourcing to low-cost countries. Looking at Europe and Germany, we are constantly losing jobs in the industry by moving to other locations,” the CEO notes at the conference.

In light of Russia’s war against Ukraine, Zeschky emphasizes the importance of factors other than price, for instance, having an independent, robust and reliable energy supply in Europe.

Another German OEM, Nordex, echoes these points, with Group CEO José Luis Blanco saying the wind turbine manufacturing industry’s economy had already deteriorated before the war in Ukraine began.

He attributes this to price pressure resulting from auctions as well as poor market pipeline visibility due to failed policy.

”We are still selling at a loss because of dynamics from auctions and low visibility regarding volumes,” Blanco told the media.

He elaborates saying the company invests in volumes based on confidence toward market dynamics, but when volumes are absent and factories stand idle, it’s better to have some cash flow than none at all.

The consequence, Nordex’ CEO says, is a ”self-destructive loop”, adding that if Europe wishes to triple its wind capacity, it behooves the continent to support value chain independence.

At the moment, roughly 85 percent of the industry’s components come from China, he notes.

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