The European Union’s wind capacity has reached 100 GW, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), enough to power some 57 million homes.
The figures indicate a significant acceleration in the expansion of wind power, with half of the total capacity in Europe installed over the past six years.
The recent developments contributing to that expansion are DONG Energy’s 400 MW Anholt offshore wind farm off the Danish coast, EDF Energies Nouvelles Polska’s 48 MW Linowo wind farm in Poland and smaller facilities in Denmark and Greece.
Meanwhile, the UK has reached a milestone of over 2.67 GW of offshore wind capacity after the opening of the 317 MW Sheringham Shoal wind farm.
Welcoming the news, CEO of EWEA Christian Kjaer commented:
“Despite only utilising a tiny fraction of Europe’s vast domestic wind energy resources, wind power is having a substantial impact on [the region’s] energy security and environment, and benefits us hugely in creating green jobs and technology exports.”
The UK looks set to continue its leading role in boosting Europe’s wind capacity with five of the top ten largest wind farms under construction, according the EWEA.
Those include Scottish Power’s 539 MW Whitelee wind farm, which is already into the second phase of construction, SSE Renewables’ 371 MW Viking and 350 MW Clyde developments, Vattenfall’s 256 MW Pen y Cymoedd wind farm, and Infinergy’s 177 MW Dorenell plans.
Other boosts will come from Romania’s 600 MW wind farm, which is currently under construction, and Austria’s 237 MW Andau development.
While it has taken just 13 years to add 90 GW of renewable wind capacity to Europe’s portfolio, after taking 20 years to complete the first 10 GW, the EWEA warns that the future is more uncertain with mixed political messages and increased costs for lenders.
For further information:
Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm takes UK capacity to 2.5 GW (1-Oct)
UK’s onshore wind capacity hits 5 GW milestone (24-Sept)
UK wind power sets new record high of 4 GW (14-Sept)
UK leads 50% boost in European offshore wind capacity (23-Jul)
01 October 2012