Wind power in Europe


In 2012, installed wind power capacity in the European Union totalled 105,000 megawatts (MW) - enough to supply 7% of the EU's electricity.[1] 11,895 MW of wind power was installed in 2012 alone, representing 11.4% of new power capacity. The EU wind industry has had an average annual growth of 15.6% over the last 17 years (1995-2011).[2]

A European Environment Agency report, entitled Europe's onshore and offshore wind energy potential confirms wind energy could power Europe many times over.[3] The report highlights wind power’s potential in 2020 as three times greater than Europe’s expected electricity demand, rising to a factor of seven by 2030.[4]

The EWEA estimates that 230 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity will be installed in Europe by 2020, consisting of 190 GW onshore and 40 GW offshore. This would produce 14-17% of the EU's electricity, avoiding 333 million tonnes of CO2 per year and saving Europe €28 billion a year in avoided fuel costs.[5][6]

In order to get a true picture of the 'CO2 cost saving' the calculations need to include the CO2 produced during manufacturing, installing and running the wind power units. And, that needs comparing with the CO2 costs of manufacturing, installing and running other electricity generators such as gas fired power stations etc. Lifetime CO2 costs should also be included as some sources of electricity generation may last longer than others. Finally, 'decommissioning CO2 costs' also need including. These may be quite high for some methods of electricity generation.

Research from a wide variety of sources in various European countries shows that support for wind power is consistently about 80 per cent among the general public.[7]

Europe’s Wind Energy Event

Template:See In the Europe’s Premier Wind Energy Event February 2013 wind was evaluated by Robert Clover from MAKE Consulting as the cheapest electricity technology after 2020 meeting 50% of electricity demand in Europe by 2050.[8] According to Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency without a phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies, we will not reach our climate targets. The fossil fuel subsidies were half a trillion dollars in 2011. 80% of fossil fuel subsidies go to middle and high income households. The biggest challenges of wind energy is the lack of predictability of government policies, and not the lack of predictability of wind power, Birol said. According to Vice-President of the European Parliament Anni Podimata retroactive policy changes undermine investment in renewable energy projects.[9] The European wind industry needs skilled workforce.[10] The EU wind energy capacity in the end of 2012 was 105.6 GW. Renewable energy represented 69% of new power capacity in 2012, while fuel oil, coal and nuclear capacity saw negative growth due to decommissioning.[11]

By country

Germany

Main article: Wind power in Germany

Wind power in Germany describes wind power in Germany as part of energy in Germany and renewable energy in Germany. In 2011, the installed capacity of wind power in Germany was 29,075 megawatts (MW), with wind power producing about 8 percent of Germany’s total electrical power.[12] According to EWEA in a normal wind year, installed wind capacity in Germany will meet 10.6% at end 2011 and 9.3% at end 2010 of the German electricity needs.[13][14]

More than 21,607 wind turbines are located in the German federal area and the country has plans to build more wind turbines.[15][16] As of 2011, Germany's federal government is working on a new plan for increasing renewable energy commercialization,[17] with a particular focus on offshore wind farms.[18]

Spain

Main article: Wind power in Spain

Spain is the leading generator of wind energy in Europe and the second country (after Germany) in installed capacity as of 2011.[19] Wind power alone covered 16.6% of the total electricity demand in Spain in 2010 (according to Red Eléctrica de España, the Spanish system operator) and continues as the third technology in the system, after nuclear power and combined cycles. Wind energy’s installed capacity could meet the electricity needs of two thirds of Spanish households. In 2010, the electricity sector reduced its CO2 emissions by 26% thanks to wind energy.[20][21] “Spain holds these positions as a result of the establishment of a stable regulatory framework, better understanding of the resource, and improved technology that have afforded considerable cost reduction in terms of initial investment, maintenance, and exploitation”.[20]

Denmark

Main article: Wind power in Denmark

Wind power in Denmark provides some 20 per cent of Danish domestic electricity[22] and Denmark is a leading wind power nation in the world. The Danes were pioneers in developing commercial wind power during the 1970s and today almost half of the wind turbines around the world are produced by Danish manufacturers such as Vestas and Siemens Wind Power.[23]

The Danish wind turbine industry is the world’s largest and 90% of the wind turbines manufactured in Denmark are sold to international markets. In 2003, the Danish manufacturers had a total world market share of approximately 38%, generating a combined turnover of almost 3 billion Euro and maintaining over 20,000 people employed in the industry, from wind turbine factories to maintenance and research.[23]

The development of wind power in Denmark has been characterised by a close collaboration between publicly financed research and industry in key areas such as research and development, certification, testing, and the preparation of standards.[22]

United Kingdom

The first country to produce electricity using wind, at the beginning of 2013, the installed capacity of wind power in the United Kingdom was 8,445 megawatts (MW), with 362 operational wind farms and 4,158 wind turbines in the United Kingdom.[1] The United Kingdom is ranked as the world's eighth largest producer of wind power.

1.8 GW of new wind power capacity was brought online during 2012, a 30% increase of the total UK installed capacity. 2012 was a significant year for the offshore wind industry with 4 large wind farms becoming operational with over 1.1 GW of generating capability coming on stream.[24]

Through the Renewables Obligation, British electricity suppliers are now required by law to provide a proportion of their sales from renewable sources such as wind power or pay a penalty fee. The supplier then receives a Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) for each MW·h of electricity they have purchased.[25] Within the United Kingdom, wind power is the second largest source of renewable energy after biomass.[26]

Wind power is expected to continue growing in the United Kingdom for the foreseeable future – RenewableUK estimated in 2010 that more than 2,000 MW of capacity would be deployed per year for the next five years.[27] By 2020, the United Kingdom is expected to have more than 28,000 MW of wind capacity.[28]

Romania

Main article: Wind power in Romania

As of 2012, wind power in Romania has an installed capacity of about 1900 MW, up from the 14 MW installed capacity in 2009.[29] Romania has a high wind power potential of around 14,000 MW and a power generating capacity of 23 TWh. The main regions of great potential of wind are Dobrogea and Moldavia.

Republic of Ireland

Ireland is the best location in Europe for wind power as it is situated on the Western edge of Europe and is exposed to high winds from the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea. Wind power capacity factors tend to be higher in Ireland than anywhere else. By the end of 2008 the installed capacity of wind power in Ireland was 1,244.7 MW.[30]

Most wind farms in Ireland are located in coastal regions and especially in the West of Ireland. However, the Irish Sea is getting some attention and the first offshore wind farm in Ireland is located a few kilometers north of Arklow and 10 km out to sea and is known as the Arklow Bank Wind Park. This is set to expand in the future. Other proposals are an offshore wind farm on the Kish Bank which is about 15 kilometers offshore from Dublin, the capital city. With another planned wind farm at Clogherhead (north of Drogheda, south of Dundalk), to be called the Oriel Wind Farm.The Codling windfarm, planned for the south Irish Sea, will have a capacity of 1100MW with 330 turbines, giving a huge boost to wind generated power in Ireland.

Estonia

Main article: Wind power in Estonia

As of 2013, the installed capacity of wind power in Estonia was 269.4 MW,[31] whilst roughly 1466.5 MW[32] worth of projects are currently being developed and three major offshore projects with total capacity of 1490 MW are being planned. Estonia, as a country, which is widely open to the sea and has a flat territory, possesses a very high potential for the development of wind energy.[33]

According to a survey carried out by the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, 95% of the respondents considered wind power as the most environmentally friendly way to produce energy.[34]

Lithuania

The Lithuanian government is planning on mimicking Baltic neighbor Denmark, which generates 20 percent of its energy with wind turbines. Lithuanian government have plans to build 200 megawatts of renewable energy by 2010 in wind turbines.[35]

Public opinion

Recent public opinion surveys about wind power at both the EU and the country level shows that wind energy, being a clean and renewable energy source, is traditionally linked to very strong and stable levels of public support. About 80 per cent of EU citizens support wind power.[7]

Opinion on increase in number of wind farms, 2010 Harris Poll[6]
Great
Britain
France Italy Spain Germany
 %  %  %  %  %
Strongly oppose 6 6 2 2 4
Oppose more than favour 12 16 11 9 14
Favour more than oppose 44 44 38 37 42
Strongly favour 38 33 49 53 40

Statistics

Total capacity

EU Wind Energy Capacity (MW)[36][37][38][1]
No Country 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998
- EU-28 105,696 93,957 84,074 74,767 64,712 56,517 48,069 40,511 34,383 28,599 23,159 17,315 12,887 9,678 6,453
1 Germany 31,332 29,060 27,214 25,777 23,897 22,247 20,622 18,415 16,629 14,609 11,994 8,754 6,113 4,442 2,875
2 Spain 22,796 21,674 20,676 19,149 16,689 15,131 11,623 10,028 8,264 6,203 4,825 3,337 2,235 1,812 834
3 UK 8,445 6,540 5,204 4,051 2,974 2,406 1,962 1,332 904 667 552 474 406 362 333
4 Italy 8,144 6.747 5,797 4,850 3,736 2,726 2,123 1,718 1,266 905 788 682 427 277 180
5 France 7,196 6,800 5,660 4,492 3,404 2,454 1,567 757 390 257 148 93 66 25 19
6 Portugal 4,525 4,083 3,898 3,535 2,862 2,150 1,716 1,022 522 296 195 131 100 61 60
7 Denmark 4,162 3,871 3,752 3,465 3,163 3,125 3,136 3,128 3,118 3,116 2,889 2,489 2,417 1,771 1,443
8 Sweden 3,745 2,907 2,163 1,560 1,048 788 571 509 442 399 345 293 231 220 174
9 Poland 2,497 1,616 1,107 725 544 276 153 83 63 63 27 0 0 0 0
10 Netherlands 2,391 2,328 2,245 2,229 2,225 1,747 1,558 1,219 1,079 910 693 486 446 433 361
11 Romania 1,905 982 462 14 11 8 3 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
12 Greece 1,749 1,629 1,208 1,087 985 871 746 573 473 383 297 272 189 112 39
13 Ireland 1,738 1,631 1,428 1,260 1,027 795 746 496 339 190 137 124 118 74 73
14 Austria 1,378 1,084 1,011 995 995 982 965 819 606 415 140 94 77 34 30
15 Belgium 1,375 1,078 911 563 415 287 194 167 96 68 35 32 13 6 6
16 Bulgaria 684 612 375 177 120 57 36 10 10 0 0 0 0 0 0
17 Hungary 329 329 295 201 127 65 61 17 3 3 3 0 0 0 0
18 Finland 288 197 197 146 143 110 86 82 82 52 43 39 39 39 17
19 Estonia 269 184 149 142 78 59 32 32 6 2 2 0 0 0 0
20 Czech Republic 260 217 215 192 150 116 54 28 17 9 3 0 0 0 0
21 Lithuania 225 179 163 91 54 54 51 48 6 6 0 0 0 0 0
22 Croatia* 180 131 89 28
23 Cyprus 147 134 82 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
24 Latvia 68 31 30 28 27 27 27 27 27 27 24 0 0 0 0
25 Luxembourg 45 44 44 35 35 35 35 35 35 22 17 15 10 10 9
26 Slovakia 3 3 3 3 5 5 5 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0
27 Slovenia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
28 Malta 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
- EU-28 Offshore 4,993 3,810 2,944 2,061 1,471 1,088
29 Turkey 2,312 1,691 1,329 801 458
30 Norway 703 520 441 431 429 333 314 267 160 101
31 Ukraine 278 151 87 94 90 89 86 77
32 Switzerland 46 42 18 14 12 12 12
33 Russia 15 9 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
34 Iceland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
- Europe (MW) 109,238 96,607 86,075 76,152 65,741 57,136 48,563 40,898


  • total installed wind power in Croatia is 229MW with 180MW in operation as of late 2011 and 49MW awaiting connection to the national grid, Croatia also generates additional 32.7MW of solar energy, [39] with planned output of 320MW for wind and solar by the end of 2013 and 1GW by the end of 2015.

Per capita capacity

Wind power today, in an average wind year, generates the equivalent of over 20% of Denmark’s electricity use and 25–30% of that in three German Länder, and on windy days with light loads, over 100% of the load in certain regions, particularly in West Denmark, North Germany, and northern Spain.[40]

Wind power
 % of electricity and per person[41][42][43][44]
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Country  % electricity W/person W/person W/person W/person W/person W/person
 Denmark 21.3 579 581 627.5 686.6 706.2 745.8
 Spain 11.8 367 370 415.5 449.6 469.2 448.8
 Portugal 9.3 203 270 332.5 366.4 403.4 429.2
 Sweden 1.3 88 111 166.9 231.6 308.7 394.8
 Germany 7.0 270 291 315.3 332.7 355.7 382.8
 Ireland 8.4 193 228 283.1 319.6 364.0 357.2
Average 3.8 116 131 149.2 168.3 187.2 209.7
 Estonia 1.8 45 58 111.3 111.0 137.2 200.8
 Cyprus 0 0 0 0 102.1 166.6 170.5
 Austria 3.3 120 119 118.8 120.7 128.2 163.2
 Greece 3.7 78 88 96.1 106.9 143.6 154.9
 Netherlands 3.4 107 136 134.0 135.4 139.1 145.3
 Italy 1.7 47 63 80.3 96.1 111.1 133.9
 United Kingdom 1.8 40 54 65.3 83.9 105.0 132.4
 Belgium 0.7 28 36 52.0 81.9 98.4 124.5
 France 1.2 40 53 69.9 87.5 104.0 114.6
 Luxembourg 1.1 71 90 86.2 86.2 84.6 106.7
 Romania 0.0 0 1 1 19.5 45.9 90.9
 Bulgaria 0.5 10 21 23.4 49.6 81.6 89.7
 Lithuania 1.1 15 19 27.3 46.3 55.2 74.8
 Poland 0.4 7 12 18.5 31.0 42.3 64.9
 Finland 0.3 21 27 27.3 36.8 36.6 53.4
 Latvia 0.9 12 12 12.5 13.8 13.9 33.3
 Hungary 0.4 6 12 20.1 29.3 32.9 33.0
 Czech Republic 0.4 11 14 18.4 20.5 20.6 24.6
 Slovenia 0.0 1 1 1 0.9 0.6 1.1

Leading countries by windpower production

Top 10 EU countries by windpower electricity production
(December 2010)[45]
Country Windpower electricity production (GWh)
Spain 42,976
Germany 35,500
United Kingdom 11,440
France 9,600
Portugal 8,852
Denmark 7,808
Netherlands 3,972
Sweden 3,500
Ireland 3,473
Greece 2,200

See also

References

External links

  • The European Wind Energy Association
  • European Wind Energy Conference and Exhibition
  • Wind Power Seen As Key Part Of Europe’s 20% Renewable Energy Target
  • EWEA: 180 GW of Wind Power Possible in Europe by 2020
  • Europe’s biggest onshore wind farm plugs into the national grid
  • Offshore wind to take EU by storm?
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