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"WIND ENERGY CAN CREATE THOUSANDS OF JOBS AND MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE SAYS VP OF EU PARLIAMENT"

WIND ENERGY CAN CREATE THOUSANDS OF JOBS AND MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE SAYS VP

OF EU PARLIAMENTMechtild Rothe, Vice President of the European Parliament said that wind

energy can make a real difference to employment and economies. "Wind energy

is an excellent example of how to intelligently invest in a

future-orientated sustainable economy getting thousands of people into

jobs," she said. "Especially in these times of uncertainty it is very

important that the European wind energy industry has created more than

60,000 new jobs over the past five years. These are not mere statistics -

this is the competitive strength of Europe! Wind energy has definitely

become a driving force of our economies. We have learned from the current

crisis that we should not wait until the problems are there before we act -

we need to invest in wind energy now.""Wind energy can replace a large proportion of the polluting and finite

fuels we currently rely on," explained Andris Piebalgs, EU Energy

Commissioner, at the opening session of the European Wind Energy Conference

and Exhibition (EWEC) organised by the European Wind Energy Association

(EWEA) this morning. "It makes good sense to invest in indigenous sources

of power which hedge against unpredictable fossil fuel prices and in which

Europe has a real competitive advantage".According to the European Commission, 3.5% of the world's proven coal

reserves are in the EU. We sit on less than 2% of the world's gas; less

than 2% of its uranium and we have under 1% of the world's oil. "The fight

over the world's rapidly depleting fuel resources is already intensifying,"

emphasised Arthouros Zervos, EWEA's President, at the session. "It will

only become more brutal with time and Europe will lose the battle. European

companies have two thirds of the EUR35 billion global market for wind power

technology. Wind energy is Europe's contribution to peace, progress and

prosperity and we should urgently develop, promote and export it to the

best of our ability."Wind energy's contribution to prosperity is analysed in detail in a new

EWEA report launched today, which Zervos presented to delegates. 'The

Economics of Wind Energy' provides a detailed insight into wind energy

economics and compares the costs of wind to those of other power-generating

technologies.Zervos also announced that EWEA has increased its 2020 target for installed

wind energy capacity in the EU from 180 GW to 230 GW, including 40 GW

offshore. He explained that "the agreement on the EU Renewable Energy

Directive in December 2008 and its mandatory 2020 renewables targets for

the Member States have increased our optimism for the sector's outlook. We

have therefore increased our targets. However, these targets will only be

met if all the Member States implement the directive swiftly and

effectively."Previously, EWEA's target was set at 180 GW of installed capacity in the EU

by 2020, including 35 GW offshore. The new 230 GW target would produce

approximately 600 TWh per year in the EU by 2020, power equivalent to the

needs of 135 million average EU households (60% of EU households) and

meeting between 14 and 18% of EU electricity demand (depending on total

demand in 2020).Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA),

focused on the environmental benefits of wind energy in his presentation,

saying that it "has an important role to play in climate change mitigation"

but to tap into wind's full potential "we need effective national policies

and a strong international framework. We need to reinforce, expand and link

up our transmission networks. We must also increase research and

development efforts in wind energy technology." Tanaka went on to stress

the importance of focusing economic recovery plans on green investments for

a short-term stimulus and long-term benefits.Roland Sunden, CEO of LM Glasfiber and Chair of EWEC 2009 said today that

"in 2008, more wind was installed in the EU t