The EU paid 406 billion Euros for oil and gas imports in 2012 (1.1 billion Euros per day), 3.2% of its GDP, notes the European Wind Energy Association. If Europeans simply paid more to increase domestic wind power, it would increase Europe's competitiveness, they say. Cheaper fossil fuels undermine Europe by not being cheap enough, the result of increasing fossil fuel import costs.
"The massively increasing prices for fossil fuels over the last ten years - crude oil by 14% a year, gas 10% and coal 8% - are the real danger for Europe's competitiveness", said Thomas Becker , Chief Executive Officer of the EWEA in Brussels.
In contrast, wind energy requires no fuel: in 2010, they say that avoided fossil fuel costs from wind power alone were 5.71 billion Euros in the EU; that avoided amount could grow to 25.3 billion Euros by 2020. They believe that increased investments in wind energy are investments made in Europe, rather than in fossil fuel exporting nations.
"Instead of putting their efforts into increasing wind energy production for technological leadership and greater competitiveness, Governments in Europe are cutting support for renewables and relying even more on expensive fuels, often imported from countries that are far from our democratic tradition. They are shooting themselves in the foot," added Becker.