Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has announced the closure of a blade factory in eastern German state Brandenburg. The company is axeing over 450 jobs in the town of Lauchhammer and is also shutting down two other production sites in Spain and Denmark “as demand for these modules will gradually shift to markets primarily outside of Europe and be delivered via more localised manufacturing facilities”.
The decision is raising questions about the prospects for Germany as a lead market and driver for the key energy transition technology, Andreas Rausch comments for local public broadcaster rbb.
“This is a devastating signal for the entire region,” he argues, adding that the end of coal power in the eastern region Lusatia in 2038 at the latest is already taxing for local economies. “While the debate about a faster coal exit is getting louder, there are no jobs to replace it in sight,” Rausch writes, even though the government has earmarked billions of euros to fund the transition.
But the closing of the factory also casts a doubt on the speed of wind power expansion, which has slowed significantly in Germany since 2017 but needs to rebound fast to meet renewable energy goals for 2030, he adds.