Wind provides 8% of Europe’s electricity

EU generates enough wind power to meet annual energy needs of Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Irelan

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

Home » Wind provides 8% of Europe’s electricity

Published: 29 July 2015

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

  

The EU’s grid-connected wind generation capacity reached 129GW in 2014, meeting 8% of European electricity demand. That’s equivalent to the combined annual consumption of Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Ireland.

Onshore wind support cut – government to reduce support for the cheapest large-scale renewable energy option

12% by 2020

According to a report by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s in-house science service, the industry’s ‘impressive growth’ means wind power will meet at least 12% of Europe’s energy needs by 2020.

If so, wind power will make a significant contribution to the European energy and climate package goal of drawing 20% of our energy from renewable sources.

The 2014 JRC wind status report presents the technology, market and economics of the wind energy sector, with a focus on the EU.

Of all types of renewable energy, wind power has seen the widest and most successful deployment over the last two decades, with capacity increasing from 3GW to 370GW.

A record year

Last year, wind turbines with a record capacity of 52.8GW were installed worldwide – a 48% increase compared with 2013 and 17% over the 2012 record of 45.2GW.

With 23.2GW of new installations and a market share of 44%, China is well ahead of EU’s member states, which together installed 13.05GW.

The EU however still leads in cumulative capacity; its 129GW onshore and offshore wind installations mean six countries – Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Romania and Germany – generate between 10 and 40% of their electricity from wind.

Turbine manufacturing

European turbine manufacturers accounted for 78% of the non-China world market in 2014. In a context of high competition and diminishing turbine prices, manufacturers managed to improve their balance sheet thanks to better cost management and the reduced cost of raw materials.

The cost of generating wind energy continues its downward trend, highly favoured by a reduction in the cost of project financing

EU targets

The 20% share of EU energy consumption from renewables is part of the so-called ’20-20-20’ climate and energy targets for 2020, which also foresee a 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels and a 20% improvement in the EU’s energy efficiency.

In October 2014 the EU leaders agreed on new targets for 2030: domestic greenhouse gas reduction of at least 40% compared with 1990 levels and at least 27% for renewable energy and energy savings by 2030.

Click here to see the full 2014 JRC wind status report.

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