Wind energy added more new capacity than any other form of power in Europe in 2015.
Across the 28 EU member states, wind accounted for 44% of all new power installations, connecting a total of 12.8GW to the grid – 9.766MW in onshore and 3,034MW offshore. The volume of new installations was 6.3% up on 2014. Total wind capacity in Europe now stands at 142GW and covers 11.4% of Europe’s electricity needs.
Giles Dickson, Chief Executive Officer of the European Wind Energy Association, said: “These numbers show that wind is the driving force behind the EU’s energy transition. Wind energy is a mature industry. It makes economic sense and is contributing significantly to Europe’s energy security and competitiveness goals.”
Renewables accounted for 77% of new power plant installations in 2015: 22.3GW of a total 29GW.
Investment in new onshore and offshore wind farms reached €26.4 billion, a 40% increase on 2014, with both onshore and offshore attracting record levels of capital. Almost half the new wind installations in 2015 were in Germany. Poland was the second largest installer with 1.3GW new capacity followed by France with 1GW.
Dickson said: “We’ve seen strong expansion in Germany in 2015 and a strong year for offshore wind. But growth is uneven geographically. We’re not doing as well in countries where the policy and regulation is unclear and/or ineffective – investors and developers go elsewhere.
Policy is key, especially when we look at the longer term. As of now only 6 out of the 28 EU states have clear targets and policies in place for renewables post-2020. We see more ambition in emerging economies – which puts a question mark by the EU’s goal to be No. 1 in renewables.
The Commission’s proposal for a new Renewable Energy Directive, due in December, is a key opportunity to drive greater ambition from member states in the absence of binding national targets.”