Last year, 15.4GW of new wind energy capacity was installed in Europe, 11.8GW onshore and 3.6GW offshore.
There is now a total of 205GW of wind energy being produced in Europe - accounting for around 15% of the electricity used up on the continent in 2019.
The UK installed largest number of new wind-powered farms, adding 2.4GW of new capacity over the year. Spain came next with 2.3GW (all onshore), and Germany with 2.2GW from offshore and onshore wind combined.
Germany has previously been at the forefront of the wind industry in Europe, but its development has slowed recently. Only 1.1GW of onshore wind was installed in Germany last year - the lowest amount in almost 20 years. Very few new investments into wind power have been announced, so 2020 is expected to be another slow year.
The low figures for installation in Germany were offset somewhat by the installations in other countries. After years of low installation numbers, Spain reached its highest installation rate for 10 years. Sweden also achieved a record number of installations in 2019.
Administrative delays and challenging weather conditions slowed down the progress of new wind farm construction in France. However, the industry is still poised to keep up with the rate as set out by France’s Energy Plan.
A total of €19b worth of wind farm investments have been announced in Europe - totalling 11.8GW of new capacity. A further 15GW has been awarded in the form of tenders and government auctions.
Despite the rate of installations in 2019 being up 27% from the previous year, the rate needs to double if the goals of the Green Deal are to be met.
Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope, said: “Wind was 15% of Europe’s electricity. 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”.
“That requires a new approach to planning and permitting and continued investment in power grids. The National Energy and Climate Plans for 2030 are crucial here. The EU needs to ensure they’re ambitious and rigorously implemented”.
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