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Brussels takes legal action over British components in wind farms  

Credit:  The EU has complained to the World Trade Organisation, in its first such move since Brexit | By Ben Riley-Smith, Political Editor and Joe Barnes, Brussels Correspondent | The Telegraph | 28 March 2022 | www.telegraph.co.uk ~~

Brussels has launched a legal challenge over the use of British parts in the UK’s offshore wind farms.

The European Commission submitted its complaint to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the first such move it has made since Brexit.

The UK Government asks offshore wind farm developers to say how many of the parts they are using are from Britain. The UK insists the so-called “local content” request is within the rules of the WTO.

Five new offshore wind factories have been set up in the UK over the past 12 months alone, leading to 3,000 jobs and involving £1.5bn of private investment.

A Whitehall source said: “At a time when the West should be united in defeating Putin, this act of envy by Brussels is ill-judged ill-timed. We should be working together to strengthen European clean energy security, not fighting this out in court.

“Our policies to boost Britain’s offshore wind industry are comparable to many other schemes in the EU, so we are puzzled why Brussels are challenging our scheme when they do pretty much the same.”

A Government spokesman said: “We are disappointed that the Commission has taken this course of action at a time when we are focused on increasing our energy security and supply of home-grown renewable energy.”

But a European Commission spokesman said: “Such criteria discriminate against EU products and violate the WTO’s national treatment principle.

“The EU welcomes efforts to support green energy and believes such efforts can be fully compatible with international trade obligations.

“However, by favouring local content, the UK Contracts for Difference subsidy scheme – the UK’s main mechanism for supporting low-carbon electricity generation – discriminates against imports and thus violates the UK’s WTO commitments.

“Discriminatory trade practices, such as local content criteria in the UK’s subsidy scheme, directly harm EU suppliers.”

Source:  The EU has complained to the World Trade Organisation, in its first such move since Brexit | By Ben Riley-Smith, Political Editor and Joe Barnes, Brussels Correspondent | The Telegraph | 28 March 2022 | www.telegraph.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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