Europe installs 4.9 GW of new wind energy capacity in first half of 2019

The European Wind Energy Association WindEurope constantly monitors the state and rate of development of wind energy in Europe. Accounting is carried out both for the generation of electricity by the existing wind farms of the European Union (the Daily Wind resource shows this information in almost real time), and for the commissioning of new wind turbines. The Association analyzes the collected data and summarizes them (visitors of the resource can get acquainted with the main trends and statistics of European wind energy for different periods).

Thus, according to WindEurope, the total amount of new onshore and offshore capacities has increased compared to the same period last year. However, onshore installations slowed down due to a sharp stoppage of the German wind energy sector caused by legislative restrictions on issuing permits for renewable energy projects (statistics show that this was historically the worst first half of the year, and the worst period since 2000). In the first half of 2019, a total of 2,967 MW of onshore and 1,927 MW of offshore capacities were installed throughout Europe. Of all European countries, France had the most onshore installations with 523 MW.


However, it is worth waiting for data of the whole year, because the increase in capacity is typically greater in the second half of the year. This trend is especially noticeable in the Scandinavian countries, where installation activity is gaining pace in summer. Analysis of orders for wind power equipment and overall market activity suggest that the second half of the year will show us a significant increase in volumes in Sweden and Norway. WindEurope also has great expectations in Spain, where 4.1 GW auctioned in 2017 and 2018.

1.9 GW of new offshore wind was installed in the first half of 2019, compared with 1.1 GW added for the same period in 2018, showed a dramatic rise in this sector.  The UK (931 MW), Denmark (374 MW), Belgium (370 MW) and Germany (252 MW) accounted for these installations.

In the first half of 2019 Europe invested €8.8bn in the construction of future wind farms, €6.4bn in onshore wind and €2.4bn in offshore wind. These investments will result in 5.9 GW being installed and grid connected over the next two to three years. France and the Netherlands led investments. 

WindEurope's statements have criticized governments that are not paying enough attention to sector issues. The EU has set a renewable energy target of 32% by 2030 and is talking about a net zero economy by 2050. But the growth rates of renewable energy facilities which were observed this year are at odds with the voiced plans. European countries are finalizing their National Energy & Climate Plans to 2030. They will include a list of policy measures that will maximize the use of RES.

Association experts advise the need for specific auction schedules, new simplified approaches in permitting procedures and clear plans for replacing the wind farms that are coming to the end of their operational life. Such measures should help deliver on Europe’s climate and energy ambitions cost effectively.

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