Wind energy in Europe is on steep upward curve

1 March 2019

Wind energy provided 14 per cent of electricity in the European Union (EU) in 2018, up from 12 per cent in 2017, according to WindEurope.

The trade group says that continued growth in capacity and the use of more powerful turbines are helping to drive up wind’s share in the electricity mix. Denmark had the highest share of wind in its electricity last year (41 per cent) followed by Ireland (28 per cent) and Portugal (24 per cent). Wind was 21 per cent of Germany’s electricity.

Wind power capacity grew in Europe by 11.3 GW in 2018, with 8.6 GW installed onshore and 2.65 GW offshore, WindEurope says in its latest statistics.

Wind accounted for 49 per cent of all the new power generation capacity in Europe in 2018. But the amount of new wind capacity was down a third on 2017 (a record year). Capacity additions in Germany were down by over half after poorly designed auctions and problems with permitting.

In the UK, new onshore wind farm additions has also slowed due to the end of the subsidy scheme there.

Europe now has 189 GW of wind power capacity: 171 GW onshore and 18 GW offshore.

“Wind energy now provides 14 per cent of the EU’s electricity, up from 12 per cent in one year,” said Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO. “More and more people and businesses are benefitting from the clean and affordable power that wind delivers. But beneath the surface many things are not right.

“There are structural problems in permitting, especially in Germany and France. And with the noble exception of Lithuania and despite improvements in Poland, there’s a lack of ambition in Central and Eastern Europe.”

The 2030 National Energy & Climate Plans “are a chance to put things right” added Dickson. However, WindEurope believes that the draft plans are “badly lacking in detail”.

“Governments need to sort this out before they finalise the Plans this year,” Dickson said.

 

 



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