EU on Course for 200 GW Wind Installations by 2020
The EU is on course to have more than 200 GW of installed wind power capacity by 2020, according to trade body WindEurope, with a quarter of the capacity to be installed in the EU between now and the end of 2020 expected to be off-shore.
This would make it the second-largest wind market in the world, ahead of the USA and behind China, in terms of installed capacity.
WindEurope’s 2020 Outlook is based on figures so far seen in 2017, which it predicts will be a record year for new wind installations in the EU.
It expects a total of 14 GW to have come online by year end. The first six months of the year saw a total of 6.1 GW capacity installed. Main players were Germany, with 2.3 GW added (48%), the UK (1.2 GW or 24%) and France (492 MW). Together the three countries accounted for 80% of new EU capacity. More than 1.3 GW of the added capacity was off-shore, triple the figure for January to June 2016.
In a message to members, WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “According to our projections, Europe could be on course for an average installation rate of 12.6 GW per year in the years up to 2020. This would take us to a total of 204 GW by 2020.
“By this date wind would be Europe’s largest renewable energy source, surpassing hydro and providing 16.5% of Europe’s electricity demand. However, this growth is likely to be concentrated in just six countries (Germany, the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium), with Central and Eastern Europe lagging well behind.”
Dickson added that a separate report — Wind Energy in Europe: Scenarios for 2030 — shows that wind could provide 30% of Europe’s power by 2030, reaching a total of 323 GW. He said: “This level of growth would mean 382 million tonnes of avoided CO2 emissions annually. It would unlock €239bn in investment from 2017-2030, enable the wind industry to support 569,000 European jobs by 2030 and avoid the import of €13.2bn worth of fossil fuels per annum.”
However, he cautioned that decisive action was needed, saying: “Reaching 323 GW will only be possible if the right policies are in place and significant changes to the energy system are made. This includes greater certainty on long-term revenue stability; significant progress on the system integration of variable renewables including build-out of the grid and interconnectors; and clear policy commitments on electrification.”