Wind turbine maker Vestas is laying off 400 mostly white-collar employees in Europe, after a slowdown in onshore wind installations there hit the revenues of the Danish group.
Vestas said the lay-offs, its biggest in five years and equivalent to 1.6 per cent of the workforce, would enable it to focus on faster-growing non-European markets, and also save about €30m a year.
“With most of market growth expected to be outside of Europe, our global footprint must reflect the market development we see in order to grasp those growth opportunities,” said Anders Runevad, chief executive.
The news comes at a time when the European wind industry is facing a slowdown, particularly for onshore wind turbines, which have been more politically contentious than offshore turbines.
New onshore wind installations in Europe this year are expected to be 13 per cent lower than in 2017, according to a forecast from WindEurope, an industry association based in Brussels, while offshore wind installations in the continent are expected to fall by 6 per cent. [….]
The European market, which is one of the world’s most mature and represents about a quarter of global wind turbine demand, has been supported by the EU’s [non-binding] energy consumption target of 32 per cent from renewable sources by 2030.
However, individual countries have in some cases reduced their support for wind energy, including the UK, where the government cut subsidies for onshore wind.