Back to top
Reported by WindEurope on 15 January 2019

Restrictions on steel imports could jeopardise the EU’s 2030 renewables target

EU countries will discuss tomorrow a proposal from the European Commission on protective measures on steel imports to the EU. The EU will then vote on the measures, which aim to restrict steel imports from third countries to the EU until July 2021, on Friday.

(Courtesy of WindEurope asbl/vzw)

Steel import restrictions to the EU come as a response to similar measures adopted by the Trump Administration in March 2018. The European Commission applied a first set of safeguard measures in July 2018 to shield the European steel industry from trade deflection from the US. The provisional measures were designed as a global tariff-rate quota. This meant 25% duties on steel imports apply once the EU exceeds conservative predefined steel import volumes.

The revised safeguard measures will now mean import volumes per steel category will increase by just 5% every year until 2021. Import volumes will be set based on a mixed system of global and country-specific tariff-rate quotas.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “It’s good the Commission have opted for an annual increase in the steel import volumes. But 5% is very low: we expect demand for steel in offshore wind alone to rise by 36% in 2019. It’s in nobody’s interest for access to steel volumes to turn into a scramble for raw materials with other sectors like we’re all chasing seats in musical chairs. Not least when our own sector has binding EU renewables targets it’s got to help meet.

“If we have to pay tariffs on our steel imports the price of wind energy will increase. Steel makes up over half the material used in wind turbine production. Tariffs could add 18% to the price of turbines. This would offset the cost reductions we’ve achieved in recent years. And mean achieving the EU’s 32% renewable energy target for 2030 will cost society more than is necessary. And it would put European turbine manufacturers at a disadvantage to Chinese competitors that source domestic steel at much lower prices. We call on European countries and the Commission to agree a higher annual rate of increase in non-tariff volumes than the proposed 5% when they vote on Friday.”

References

[1]

WindEurope asbl/vzw. Press release - Restrictions on steel imports could jeopardise the EU’s 2030 renewables target. URL: https://windeurope.org/newsroom/press-releases/restrictions-on-steel-imports-cou.... [Date Accessed: 15/01/2019].

Policy & Markets

18 Jan | New onshore wind installations plummet in 2018

RenewableUK is today releasing new figures that new onshore wind installations fell by nearly 80% in 2018 to the lowest level since 2011. Last year 598MW of new onshore wind was installed, made up of 263 turbines at 54 sites, down from a record 2,666MW installed in 2017.

Policy & Markets

16 Jan | New record: over 16,000 megawatts of wind power in 50Hertz grid

Feed-in record of New Year’s Day already broken

Policy & Markets

02 Jan | New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Receives Applications for 1,100 MW Solicitation

Major Step Forward in Building New Jersey’s Offshore Wind Capacity

Policy & Markets

20 Dec | Wind Industry to hold Global Offshore Wind Summit – Taiwan in April

The wind industry will hold the first Global Offshore Wind Summit in Taipei on 24-25 April.

14 Jan | Wind energy ready to help deliver Europe’s Green Deal Investment Plan

The European Commission unveiled today its Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, the financial pillar of the European Green Deal.

04 Dec | North Seas Energy Ministers reinforce cooperation on offshore wind

Energy Ministers from North Seas countries met today in Brussels and agreed their 2020 Work Programme on offshore wind deployment as a means of reaching climate neutrality by 2050.

28 Nov | New report sets out how to exploit offshore wind potential in Baltic Sea

In order to exploit the full potential of offshore wind in the Baltic Sea, WindEurope’s Baltic Taskforce has released a new report, ‘Boosting offshore wind energy in the Baltic Sea’ at the Offshore 2019 event in Copenhagen.

27 Nov | Boosting R&D for wind energy is key to Europe’s Green Deal

Targeted Research & Innovation is needed to accelerate the large-scale deployment of cost-competitive wind energy and support the existing European supply chains.