National governments taking measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak mustn’t stop the production of essential manufacturing processes in the wind industry, Europe-wide sector group WindEurope said.

“Reliable electricity supply is a prerequisite for the functioning of public services, such as national health care systems – and therefore more important than ever,” WindEurope said in a statement.

It is critical that the wind industry can continue to produce essential equipment in factories, while organising its workforce to protect health and safety, in many cases by significantly reducing the number of workers on site, the industry group said.

“But national governments need to allow for essential manufacturing processes to continue, in particular for the production of components without which global wind energy supply chains will grind to a halt.”

The statement came as Spain – a key producer of wind turbines and their components – in the wake of a stricter shutdown of the economy pushed OEMs such as Siemens Gamesa and Vestas to nearly stop all their manufacturing activities in the country.

WindEurope pointed to a statement from last week by EU heads of state that stressed to do the utmost to strengthen the sustainability of global integrated value and supply chains I order to alleviate negative socio-economic impacts.

Wind power provided 15% of Europe’s electricity last year, while 300,000 Europeans work in the wind industry.

Wind turbine manufacturers due to lockdown measures also had to halt production in India, and a Siemens Gamesa blades plant in Hull, England, also halted production on a coronavirus safety check.

Wind industry factories in Germany, Denmark and Italy were still running, despite lockdowns of the population in those countries.