Wind power added more new capacity than any other form of power in Europe in 2015. 

That’s according to a report on the sector’s performance compiled by the European Wind Energy Association.

Across the 28 EU member states, wind accounted for 44 per cent of all new power installations, connecting a total of 12.8 GW to the grid – 9.766MW in onshore and 3,034MW offshore. The volume of new installations was 6.3 per cent up on 2014.  Total wind capacity in Europe now stands at 142 GW and covers 11.4 per cent of Europe’s electricity needs.
Wind turbines
Renewables accounted for 77 per cent of new power plant installations in 2015: 22.3GW of a total 29GW.  

Investment in new onshore and offshore wind farms reached EUR26.4bn, a 40 per cent increase on 2014, with both onshore and offshore attracting record levels of capital.  Almost half the new wind installations in 2015 were in Germany.  Poland was the second largest installer with 1.3 GW new capacity followed by France with 1 GW.  

Giles Dickson, Chief Executive Officer of the European Wind Energy Association, said, “We’ve seen strong expansion in Germany in 2015 and a strong year for offshore wind.  But growth is uneven geographically.  We’re not doing as well in countries where the policy and regulation is unclear and/or ineffective – investors and developers go elsewhere. 

Policy is key, especially when we look at the longer term.  As of now only 6 out of the 28 EU states have clear targets and policies in place for renewables post-2020.  We see more ambition in emerging economies – which puts a question mark by the EU’s goal to be No. 1 in renewables.  

The Commission’s proposal for a new Renewable Energy Directive, due in December, is a key opportunity to drive greater ambition from member states in the absence of binding national targets.”

Click here for the full report.