In 2010 wind power accounted 5.3% of the EU’s electricity demand, but this amount varies wildly from country to country across the continent.
Denmark, Europe’s wind energy leader, is of course at the top of the table – wind power covers over one quarter of the country’s electricity demand. But the country in second position comes as a surprise. It’s not Germany or Spain, but Portugal – where wind energy accounts for an impressive 15.5% of the country’s electricity demand.
Most of Portugal’s wind power is located in the sparsely populated mountainous areas in the north-east of the country (all of its wind power is onshore). The country combines its wind energy with hydro power and some biomass to reach a level of 45% of electricity from renewable sources.
Spain comes in third with 15% of the country’s electricity powered by wind, and Ireland makes it to fourth position with 12.9% of electricity demand met by wind. Ireland is another of Europe’s surprising wind energy stars. At the beginning of this year, Ireland had 1,428 MW of installed wind power capacity – more than three times the total in 2005. Just after Ireland is Germany with 8% of the country’s electricity covered by wind power – a level which should rise significantly following Chancellor Merkel’s decision to abandon nuclear power and focus Germany’s energy future on renewable energy.
Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Germany are the only countries above the EU average when it comes to the percentage of electricity demand met by wind – well done these five! If your country hasn’t yet been mentioned in this blog post, have a look at the table below to find out how much electricity is wind powered where you are:
By Zoë Casey (ewea)
Source: ewea, August 31, 2011;