The wave of political uncertainty that has swept across Europe since 2011 will have a "hugely negative impact" on the region’s wind energy sector in 2013 and 2014, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

The trade group says that new wind energy installations in 2012 reached 11.6 GW, an increase on the 9.4 GW installed in 2011, and that total wind energy capacity in Europe now stands at 105.6 GW.

The figures for 2012 installations reflect the pre-2011 investment environment, which has deteriorated because of uncertainty over political backing for renewable energy, said EWEA as it launched its 2012 annual wind energy statistics publication.

"We expect this instability to be far more apparent in 2013 and 2014 installation levels," said EWEA CEO Christian Kjaer.

Wind energy represented 26 per cent of all new EU power capacity installed last year, and investments of between €12.8 billion and €17.2 billion. It is now meeting seven per cent of Europe’s electricity demand – up from 6.3 per cent at the end of 2011.

Overall, the EU is almost 2 GW (1.7 per cent) under its National Renewable Energy Action Plan forecasts, said EWEA. Eighteen Member States are falling behind, including Slovakia, Greece, Czech Republic, Hungary, France and Portugal.

Renewable energy represented 69 per cent of all new power capacity in 2012, while in a continuing trend fuel oil, coal and nuclear capacity saw negative growth due to decommissioning.