Germany leads record wind power growth in Europe


Record amount of wind power capacity installed across EU in 2014, more than new gas and coal capacity combined, reports BusinessGreen


The British wind power industry installed 1.7GW of new capacity last year, coming second only to Germany, which built a massive 5.2GW of new capacity during 2014.

New figures from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) on Tuesday reveal nearly 11.8GW of wind power was added to the grid across the European Union in 2014, accounting for 43.7% of all new electricity generation.

In comparison, coal added 3.3GW of new capacity and gas added 2.3GW, securing wind power’s position as the fastest-growing new source of electricity in the bloc.

The report reveals Germany was by far the biggest market last year, installing nearly half of new wind farms in the EU.

The UK came in second place, followed by Sweden with 1.05GW and France with 1.04GW of new capacity.

But there was a huge gap between the leading markets and the bloc’s wind energy laggards, with a number of countries installing no new wind farms at all, including Slovakia, which has just 3.1MW of capacity in total, Malta, which has no wind farms, Luxembourg, which has just 58.3MW, and Cyprus which has 146MW.

Thomas Becker, EWEA chief executive, said the figures suggest wind power is becoming an increasingly attractive investment opportunity.

“Europe is at a turning point for investment in renewables and particularly wind,” he said.

“Ploughing financial capital into the industries of old in Europe is beginning to look unwise. By contrast, renewables are pushing ahead and investments in wind remain attractive.”

Becker added that he expected to see an increasingly concentrated market in 2015, with growth focused in a handful of countries and markets in eastern and southern Europe continuing to struggle as a result of “erratic and harsh changes” to renewable energy policies.

Reblogged from The Guardian

Photo © Shutterstock / Jesus Keller

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