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Factbox-Chinese wind turbine makers involvement in EU projects

Published 10/04/2024, 15:26
Updated 10/04/2024, 16:15
© Reuters. Wind turbines are seen at the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm, off the coast of the Guerande peninsula in western France, September 30, 2022. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

By Nina Chestney

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Commission has requested information as part of a preliminary review of possible market distortions by Chinese wind turbine makers in five European Union countries, a move that China called "discriminatory".

EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager said on Tuesday the Commission was investigating the conditions for wind park development in Spain, Greece, France, Romania and Bulgaria, without giving further details about why these countries in particular were highlighted.


Around 2.6 gigawatts (GW) of Chinese-made wind turbines are currently installed or planned to be installed in Europe, including Britain, according to lobby group Green Power Denmark.

Total EU wind generation capacity amounted to 221 GW last year, according to Commission statistics.

Europe installed 18.3 GW of new wind power capacity last year alone, with the EU's 27 countries installing 16.2 GW of that, according to industry group WindEurope.

The supply of Chinese wind turbines for EU projects is relatively small and the European market is still dominated by domestic players such as Vestas, Enercon, Nordex and Siemens Gamesa.

However, overcapacity in the Chinese market has led to more exports abroad and Chinese turbines are cheaper than European-made ones, with manufacturers offering attractive deferred payments, industry sources said.


Goldwind, Envision, MingYang, Shanghai Electric, Sinovel and Zhejiang Windley are the main players involved in EU projects, which are not just in the countries highlighted by the Commission probe but also in Italy, Croatia and Sweden, as well as non-EU member countries North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Ukraine and Turkey.


© Reuters. Wind turbines are seen at the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm, off the coast of the Guerande peninsula in western France, September 30, 2022. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

According to industry group WindEurope, the majority are onshore wind. Focusing on the countries highlighted by the Commission, those which are online include six in France, five in Spain, three in Greece, one in Bulgaria and two in Romania.

Under construction, there are two in France.

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