Wind energy capacity in Europe is on track to grow at an average of 17 GW/year over the next five years, according to industry group WindEurope.
The organisation says in its latest analysis of the European wind energy sector that 2019 is set to be a record year for annual installations, and that cumulative installed capacity will reach 258 GW in 2022.
However, it warns that policy uncertainty and a lack of ambition in many countries are “clouding the horizon”.
“Wind energy is on track for solid further expansion in Europe over the next five years,” said Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO. “But this growth comes mostly from yesterday’s decisions. The outlook for new investment decisions over the next five years is less clear. Most Governments still haven’t clarified their plans for new wind farms up to 2030. And partly because of this it’s getting harder to secure permits for new wind farms.”
According to WindEurope, most new installations in Europe will be onshore turbines, with 70.4 GW due to be installed over the next five years compared with 16.5 GW of offshore turbines. Larger turbine models are helping to drive the growth, and National Energy and Climate plans for 2030 will also be crucial for the industry.
Germany, Spain and the UK will lead Europe’s wind sector, but markets such as Sweden, Norway and Turkey will also witness strong growth.
WindEurope says there are specific problems in some countries that need solving. “Germany messed up its first onshore wind auctions last year so will be build much less wind in the next year or two, leading to job losses. And France has a short-term problem around who can award permits, so there’ll be a dip in growth there too,” said Dickson.
Globally Europe will account for 25 per cent of wind energy capacity installations over the next five years.