European countries are not building enough wind energy capacity to deliver the region’s green targets, according to wind industry association Wind Europe.
The organisation says that even though wind energy accounts for 15 per cent of electricity generation in the EU, installation rates need to double if the 27-nation bloc is to achieve climate neutrality and the targets set out in the Green Deal.
According to Wind Europe, Europe installed 15.4 GW of new wind energy in 2019, including 11.8 GW of onshore capacity and 3.6 GW of offshore capacity. Cumulative wind capacity in the region now stands at 205 GW.
“Wind was 15 per cent of Europe’s electricity [in 2019],” said Wind Europe CEO Giles Dickson. “But Europe is not building enough new wind farms to deliver the EU’s goal that it should be half of Europe’s electricity by 2050.”
“Climate neutrality and the Green Deal require Europe to install over twice as much new wind energy each year as it managed in 2019. And the growth needs to come from both offshore and onshore wind.”
According to Wind Europe, a new approach to planning and permitting are required, and National Energy and Climate Plans will also be crucial in the drive to boost wind energy investment. “The EU needs to ensure they’re ambitious and rigorously implemented,” added Dickson.
Across Europe there were €19 billion of new investments announced in wind farms in 2019, covering 11.8 GW of capacity. And 15 GW of new capacity was awarded in government auctions and tenders.
2019 installations were up 27 per cent compared to 2018 but the rate of installations needs to double to reach the goals set out in the Green Deal.
Last year the UK installed the most wind capacity, with 2.4 GW, followed by Spain, with 2.3 GW. Germany installed 2.2 GW, followed by Sweden (1.6 GW) and France (1.3 GW).