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EU wind power now 7 percent, but industry challenged in 2013

EU wind power now 7 percent, but industry challenged in 2013

The European Union wind energy sector installed 11.6 gigawatts (GW) of capacity in 2012—enough additional power for the continent to now meet 7 percent of its electricity needs–according to the 2012 annual statistics released this week by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

The megawatts added in 2012 bring the E.U.’s total wind power capacity to 105.6 GW. The 7 percent penetration level achieved is a notable increase from 6.3 percent at the end of 2011.

While the installation total for the year beats 2011’s 9.4 GW, “The 2012 figures reflect orders made before the wave of political uncertainty that has swept across Europe since 2011, which is having a hugely negative impact on the wind energy sector,” said Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA. “We expect this instability to be far more apparent in 2013 and 2014 installation levels.”

Wind energy represented 26 percent of all new EU power capacity installed last year, and investment of between EUR 12.8 billion and EUR 17.2 billion.

Overall, the EU is almost 2,000 MW short of its National Renewable Energy Action Plan forecasts. Eighteen member states are falling behind, including Slovakia, Greece, Czech Republic, Hungary, France and Portugal, said EWEA, which released its numbers in conjunction with last week’s EWEA 2013 event in Vienna.

Renewable energy accounted for 69 percent of all new power capacity in 2012 while, in a continuing trend, fuel oil, coal and nuclear capacity saw negative growth due to decommissioning.

Last year, wind energy installations were led by Germany (2.4 GW, 21 percent of the total of new E.U. wind power capacity), the UK (1.9 GW, 16 percent), Italy (1.3 GW, 11 percent), Romania (0.9 GW, 8 percent) and Poland (0.9 GW, 8 percent). In terms of total installed capacity, Germany is also the leader with 31.3 GW (30 percent), followed by Spain (22.8 GW, 22 percent), the UK (8.4 GW, 8 percent), Italy (8.1 GW, 8 percent) and France (7.2 GW, 7 percent).

EWEA’s full set of E.U. wind power 2012 market numbers is available online.

Related articles:

It's official: U.S. wind energy blew away old record for installations in 2012, January 31, 2013

Turbine makers' outlook: Strong 2012, tough 2013, long-term optimism, June 21, 2012

Skeptical about renewable energy predictions? You should be, June 20, 2012

WINDPOWER 2012 Update: U.S. lags behind China in clean energy technology race, June 5, 2012

Wind technology advancing rapidly, challenges remain, June 4, 2012

U.K. market for small turbines surpasses U.S., but U.S. manufacturers benefit, May 3, 2012

Global wind power market expected to more than double in next five years, April 17, 2012

Wind power drives strong interest in U.S. renewable electricity generation, April 17, 2012

AWEA Annual Market Report underscores need for PTC extension, April 13, 2012

 

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Carl has been a part of the AWEA team since 2006. He brings both his expertise in communications as well as experience with the evolving wind energy industry to the job of overseeing AWEA's online and written publications including the Wind Energy Weekly, WINDPOWER Update, WINDPOWER Today, and various print materials. He has worked as a journalist in the energy industry as a staff writer for Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine and in the association sector as senior editor at Association Management magazine. He also has covered the home-building industry, where his areas of greatest interest were sustainable development and "smart growth," and has written articles for numerous other publications as a freelance writer. Carl received his B.A. from James Madison University and spent some time in New Orleans employed as a teacher as well as working with homeless youth.

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