Brussels takes legal action against UK components in wind farms Business

Brussels has launched legal action over the use of British coins at UK offshore wind farms.

The European Commission has lodged its complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the first of these steps since Brexit.

The UK government is asking developers of offshore wind farms to say how many parts they use come from Britain. The UK insists the so-called ‘local content’ request is WTO-compliant.

Five new offshore wind farms have been set up in the UK in the past 12 months alone, creating 3,000 jobs and involving £1.5 billion in private investment.

A Whitehall source said: ‘At a time when the West should be united to defeat Putin, this act of envy by Brussels is misjudged and untimely. We should work together to strengthen European clean energy security, not fight in court.

“Our policies to boost the UK offshore wind industry are comparable to many other schemes in the EU, so we are puzzled why Brussels is challenging our scheme when they are doing much the same thing. “

A government spokesperson said: ‘We are disappointed that the Commission has taken this decision at a time when we are focused on increasing our energy security and local renewable energy supply.

But a spokesperson for the European Commission said: “These criteria discriminate against EU products and violate the WTO national treatment principle.

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

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

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

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This notice was published: 2022-03-28 19:07:33

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