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Chinese-made wind farms could become a new sabotage risk

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


Illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Financial Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Recent acts of sabotage on undersea cables and pipelines in the Baltic Sea highlight emerging risks in sea-based infrastructure, crucial for Western energy transition  
• The focus is on the dependence on Chinese wind turbine technology, with calls to boost domestic manufacturing to avoid reliance similar to past dependence on Russian gas

🔭 The context: These security concerns follow incidents involving undersea cables and mysterious explosions in Nord Stream pipelines  
• The West's dependency on maritime infrastructure for oil, gas, data transmission, and increasingly, wind energy, underscores the strategic importance of these assets

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Offshore wind power, representing a significant portion of Europe's electricity and set to grow, faces dual threats: potential sabotage and cyber intrusion, and supply chain dependence on China, especially for critical components like wind turbines and raw materials

⏭️ What's next: Efforts to secure offshore wind farms include enhanced security measures and data sharing with defense ministries  
• The European Union's recent "wind package" aims to increase financing for clean energy manufacturing and reduce dependence on external suppliers, particularly from China

💬 One quote: Christoph Zipf of Wind Europe highlights China's dominant role in exporting raw materials for wind turbine magnets, essential for converting turbine blade energy into electricity

📈 One stat: Europe, Norway, and the UK plan to double their offshore wind energy capacity to 400 gigawatts by 2050, a significant increase from the current 16GW, highlighting the scale of the challenge in securing and diversifying the supply chain

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