Wind power supply chains are stabilising after the shocks from Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine, and are ready to deliver and invest if needed to nearly double Europe’s annual turbine installations, Nordex CEO Jose Luis Blanco said during the WindEurope conference in Bilbao, but warned “many suppliers unfortunately have their factories half empty.”

Europe last year installed roughly 16GW of new wind capacity, most of which in on land, which is about half of the 30GW envisioned by 2030, Blanco said during a panel on the resilience of the supply chain for Europe’s energy transition.

Changes to legislation are resulting in more permits, which for example in Germany had increased by 70%, Blanco stressed, adding that taking action to remove the permit bottleneck should be followed by other European countries.

“Better policies are anow hitting ground on supporting a growing market,” Blanco said, adding that supply chains are “normalised and we are ready to deliver and invest if needed.

“I don’t think much investment will be needed in onshore, because unfortunately, we, our competitors, [and] our supply chain partners, are running with substantial overcapacity,” he said.

“We are looking forward to more volume.”

Other participants at the panel also stressed the need for a stable pipeline of projects, which national governments and the EU should foster.

“You have to have more projects,” said Dennis Rendschmidt, managing director at VDMA Power Systems, a group representing German wind manufacturers.

“We need a clear signal from politicians that the expansion is ongoing, that we will have more projects in coming years.”

There is also a need to do still more on regulation to make sure the EU’s ambitious renewables targets can be fulfilled, he added.

“There is no shortage of capacity right now as Jose Luis mentioned earlier,” Enercon chief commercial officer Uli Schulze Südhoff confirmed.

“We have capacity. So, there is no conflict between industrial policy and the renewables buildout. Both is possible.

“What is really is that we get certainty [about the upcoming wind power pipeline]. We need investment certainty, then we can also act fast. That is really missing. A little bit more courage and traction are needed.”