Wind Power Grows in Europe’s Electricity Mix

Wind energy provided 14% of the EU’s electricity in 2018, which is an increase from 12% in 2017, according to statistics by WindEurope.

Last year, wind power capacity rose by 11.3GW in Europe, with 2.65GW offshore and 8.6GW onshore.

According to WindEurope, continued growth in capacity and the use of more powerful turbines are helping to increase wind’s share in the electricity mix.

Wind accounted for 49% of all the new power generation capacity in Europe in 2018, but the amount of new capacity was down a third compared to 2017, which was a record year.

In addition, 9GW of new wind capacity was won in auctions, which is 4GW less than the 13GW in 2017. Europe now has 189GW of wind power capacity, with 171GW being onshore and 18GW offshore.

Last year saw a record in new wind capacity financed as 17GW of projects reached the Final Investment Decision (FID), 13GW onshore and 4.2GW offshore, which is 45% more than in 2017, but 20% more in Euros invested.

“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. Last year was the worst year for new wind energy installations since 2011,” said WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson.

“Investments in future capacity were quite good last year thanks to the UK, Spain, Sweden – and thanks also to the further expansion of offshore wind. But the outlook for new investments is uncertain. There are structural problems in permitting, especially in Germany and France.”

Dickson added that the 2030 National Energy & Climate Plans are a chance to make things right, but the draft plans are lacking details on policy measures, auction volumes, how to ease permitting, remove other barriers to investments and how to expand the grid, and governments need to solve this before the plans are finalized.

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