January 31, 2011


EV Wind graphic
During 2010, 9,883 MW of wind power was installed across Europe, with European Union countries accounting for 9,259 MW of the total. This represents a decrease in the EU’s annual wind farm installations of 10%.

Of the 9,259 MW installed in the EU, 8,377 MW wind turbines were installed onshore and 883 offshore. In 2010, the annual onshore market contracted by 13.9% compared to the previous year, whilst the offshore market grew by 51% compared to the previous year.

Investment in EU wind farms in 2010 was €12.7 billion. The onshore wind power sector attracted €10.1 billion during 2010, whilst the offshore wind power sector accounted for around €2.6 billion.

In terms of annual installations, Spain was the largest market in 2010, installing 1,516 MW, compared to Germany’s 1,493 MW. France was the only other country to install over 1 GW (1,086 MW), followed by the UK (962 MW) and Italy (948 MW). Sweden (604 MW), Romania (437 MW), Poland (382 MW), Portugal (345 MW) and Belgium (350 MW) also all performed strongly and for the first time ever, two new Member States are among the top ten largest annual markets. Offshore installations accounted for 9.5% of total EU installations in 2010.

2010 annual installations

  • 9,259 MW of wind energy capacity (worth some €12.7 billion) was installed in the EU during 2010, down 10% compared to the previous year;
  • Wind power accounted for 16.7% of total 2010 power capacity installations;
  • More renewable power capacity was installed during 2010 than any other year, an increase of 31% compared to 2009;
  • Renewable power installations accounted for 41% of new installations during 2010, 22,645 MW of total of 55,326 MW of new power capacity;
  • More power capacity was installed in 2010 than ever before, an increase of 102%, due to increasing renewable power installations and gas power installations;

Trends & cumulative installations

  • Wind power installations accounted for 16.7% of new capacity installations in 2010, the first year since 2007 that wind power did not install more than any other generating technology;
  • For only the second time since 19982 the EU power sector installed more coal than it decommissioned, highlighting the urgency of moving to a 30% greenhouse gas reduction target for 2020 and introducing an Emissions Performance Standard;
  • The EU power sector continues its move away from fuel oil and nuclear, each technology continuing to decommission more than it installs;
  • The EU’s total installed power capacity increased by 52,820 MW (net) to 874,023 MW, with wind power increasing its share of installed capacity to 84,074 MW (9.6%).

Data for wind power installations

  • Annual installations of wind farm have increased steadily over the last 15 years from 814 MW in 1995 to 9,259 MW in 2010, an annual average market growth of 17.6%;
  • A total of 84,074 MW is now installed in the European Union, an increase in installed cumulative capacity of 12.2%.
  • Germany remains the EU country with the largest installed wind farm capacity, followed by Spain, Italy, France and the UK;
  • Increasing wind turbines installations in emerging EU markets – offshore in Northern Europe, and onshore in South East Europe (Romania, Poland and Bulgaria) – offset the fall in installations in the mature onshore markets of Germany, UK, and Spain;
  • The wind farm capacity installed by the end of 2010 would in a normal year produce 181 TWh of electricity, representing 5.3%3 of electricity consumption;

Wind power installations accounted for 16.7% of new installations in 2010, the first year since 2007 that wind power did not install more than any other generating technology. Following two consecutive years of installing less power capacity than the wind industry, gas installed more capacity than any other generating technology in 2010 with 28 GW, representing 51% of total new installed capacity.

Solar PV installed 12 GW (21.7% of total capacity), followed by wind energy with 9.3 GW (16.7%). In addition, 4,056 MW (7.3%) of coal, 573 MW (1%) of biomass, 405 MW (0.7%) of Concentrating Solar Power, 208 (0.4%) of large hydro, 200 MW (0.4%) of peat, 149 MW (0.3%) of waste, 145 MW (0.3%) of nuclear, 25 MW of small hydro, 25 MW of geothermal energy, and zero MW of tidal and wave capacity were installed. Significantly, no fuel oil capacity was added in the EU during 2010.

Overall, 2010 was a record year in the EU with 55.3 GW of new electricity generating capacity installed, more than double 2009 installations (a 102% increase). During 2010, the fuel oil and nuclear power sectors decommissioned more MW than they installed: the fuel oil sector decommissioned 245 MW and the nuclear sector 390 MW.

For only the second time since 19985, the coal power sector installed more new capacity (4,056 MW) than it decommissioned (1,550 MW). The hike in new coal power capacity highlights the urgency for the EU to move to a 30% greenhouse gas reduction target for 2020, and the need to introduce an Emissions Performance Standard.

In 2010, more renewable generating capacity was installed in the EU than ever before. With 22,645 MW of new generating capacity, renewables represented 41% of total new installed capacity. Although renewables’ share of newly installed capacity decreased in 2010 due to the exceptional year for gas, it is the fifth year running that renewables have represented more than 40% of total new electricity generating installations.

In 1995, new renewable power installations totalled just 1.3 GW (representing 14% of total EU power installations that year). Since 1995 they have gradually increased to 13.3 GW in 2008 (57% of total EU power installations that year), and 17.3 GW in 2009 (63% of total EU power installations that year). During 2010, a record 22.6 GW was installed. However, due to an exceptional year in new gas installations, the renewable share of new capacity was 41%.

The net growth in the last 11 years of natural gas power (118.2 GW), wind power (74.3 GW) and solar photovoltaic (26.4 GW) was at the expense of fuel oil (down 13.2 GW), coal (down 9.5 GW) and nuclear (down 7.6 GW). The EU power sector, therefore, continues its move away from fuel oil, coal and nuclear, whilst at the same time increasing its total installed capacity to meet increasing demand.

Wind power’s share of total installed power capacity has increased fivefold from 2% in 2000 to 9.6% in 2010. Annual installations in the EU have increased steadily over the past 15 years from 814 MW in 1995 to 9,259 MW in 2010, an average annual growth rate of 17.6%.

Record 51% Growth for EU Offshore Wind Power in 2010

With 308 new offshore wind turbines installed in 2010 – an increase of 51% in installed wind power capacity on the previous year – offshore wind power experienced a new record growth in Europe.

In total, 883 Megawatt (MW) of new capacity, worth some €2.6 billion, were installed in 2010 in nine wind farms in five countries, making a total of 2,964 MW.

The installed offshore wind power capacity now supplies the equivalent of 2.9 million average EU households with electricity –comparable with the amounts of power consumed by the cities Berlin and Brussels together – from a total of 1,136 offshore wind turbines. In a normal wind year they would produce 11.5 Terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity.

These figures are published by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) in its "European offshore wind industry – key trends and statistics 2010" today in Brussels.

They show the United Kingdom to be European (and world) leader, with a total installed offshore wind capacity of 1,341 Megawatt (MW). The UK is followed by Denmark (854 MW), The Netherlands (249 MW), Belgium (195 MW), Sweden (164 MW), Germany (92 MW), Ireland (25 MW), Finland (26 MW) and Norway with 2.3 MW.

EWEA’s Chief Executive, Christian Kjaer commented: "With over 50% percent market growth, 2010 sets a new record for European offshore wind energy. Meanwhile, the 29 new offshore turbine models announced during 2010 show a growing commitment to the offshore wind energy sector by large, global industrial players, offering a real boost for Europe’s economy, its efforts to tackle climate change, create green jobs and exports while reducing our dependence on imported fuel".

During 2010, 29 new offshore turbine models were announced by 21 manufacturers: 44 new turbine models have been announced by 33 manufacturers over the last two years.

2010 saw an improving financing environment with private banks, financial institutions like the European Investment Bank (EIB), utilities and pension funds backing the sector. Two major deals completed in 2010 highlighted the brighter financial outlook: Thornton Bank C-Power and Trianel Wind Farm Borkum West both came to financial close.

"Finance remains a big challenge but we are seeing improvements with more banks and other financing institutions ready to invest in large offshore wind projects," commented Kjaer.

EWEA forecasts continued strong growth next year. Between 1,000 and 1,500 MW of new offshore wind power capacity is expected to be fully grid connected in Europe during 2011, compared with 883 MW of new capacity in 2010.

Ten European wind farms are currently under construction with a total of 3,000 MW – these will more than double the installed capacity in the 45 already grid connected offshore wind farms.

EWEA research shows that a total of 19,000 MW of offshore wind capacity is already fully consented. If constructed, it would generate 66.6 Terawatt hours of electricity in a normal wind year – enough to supply 14 of the largest capitals in Europe with electricity, including Paris, London and Berlin. Not included in this figure is large additional offshore wind energy capacity planned but not yet fully consented in the UK.

In 2000, the annual wind turbines installations of the three pioneering countries – Denmark, Germany and Spain – represented 85% of all EU wind capacity annual installations. Ten years later, this share has decreased to 36%, showing that wind power is increasingly established across Europe.

With 883 MW of new installed wind farm capacity, 2010 was a record-breaking year for offshore wind power. Annual offshore capacity has been gradually increasing since 2000 and in 2010 it represented 9.5% of all new wind power installations (in MW).

A total of 84,074 MW is now installed in the European Union, a growth of 12.2% on the previous year. Germany remains the EU country with the largest installed capacity, followed by Spain, France, the UK and Italy. Eight other countries have over 1 GW of installed capacity: Portugal, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Greece, Poland and Austria.

The wind farm capacity installed at end 2010 will, in a normal wind year, produce 181 TWh of electricity, representing 5.3% of the EU’s gross final consumption. Denmark is the country with the highest penetration of wind power in electricity consumption (24%), followed by Spain (14.4%), Portugal (14%), Ireland (10.1%) and Germany (9.3%). Overall, in a normal wind year, installed wind turbines capacity at end 2010 will meet 5.3% of the EU’s electricity needs.


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