Welcome to IEA Wind Member Country Activities for the European Commission and European Wind Energy Association for 2011
urope maintains the largest amount of cumulative installed wind capacity in the world and remains the second biggest annual market. During 2011, according to European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) statistics, the European Union’s (EU) wind energy market remained stable compared to the previous year as 9,616 MW of new capacity were commissioned compared to 9,648 MW in 2010.
Of the 9,648 MW of new turbines, 866 MW were installed offshore. However, the amount of new offshore installations decreased slightly (-1.9%) compared to the previous year due to harsh weather conditions in the last weeks of the year delaying work to make connections. However, considerable preparatory work was carried out on new offshore projects and numerous financing deals were concluded, suggesting solid future growth in this sector.
Overall capacity increases
Wind power capacity increases were led by Germany where 2,086 MW of new capacity were installed during 2011. The United Kingdom (UK) came in second with 1,293 MW, 752 MW (58%) of which were offshore, followed by Spain with 1,050 MW. Italy (950 MW), France (830 MW), and Sweden (763 MW) were followed by Romania (520 MW).
Among the emerging Central and Eastern European markets, after Romania, Poland installed the second most capacity in 2011 (436 MW). Both remain among the ten biggest European markets for the second year running.
Annual installations in the three pioneering wind power Member States has been decreasing. In 2000, 85% of all new installations in the EU were in Germany, Spain or Denmark, whereas in 2011 this share decreased to 34%. Wind power is increasingly being installed across Europe.
At the end of 2011, there were 93,957 MW of total installed wind capacity in the EU, an 11% increase compared to the previous year. This amount of capacity will, in a normal wind year, produce 204 TWh of electricity, enough to meet 6.3% of overall EU electricity consumption (up from 5.3% in 2010).
Over 29 GW (31% of the EU total) is installed in Germany. Spain has the second biggest wind power capacity, almost 22 GW (23% of the EU total). France (6.8 GW) has the third biggest installed capacity, taking the position that was formerly Italy’s (6.7 GW). The fifth largest installed wind power base is in the UK (6.5 GW).
In terms of new power generating installations as a whole, 2011 was a record year in the EU, with 44.9 GW of new capacity connected to the grid, a 3.9% increase compared to 2010. Wind power accounted for 21.4% of new installations, the third biggest share after solar PV (46.7%) and natural gas (21.6%).
No other technologies compare to wind, PV, and natural gas in terms of new installations. New coal installations represented 4.8% of capacity additions, fuel oil 1.6%, large hydro 1.3% and CSP 1.1%. Nuclear, biomass, waste, geothermal, and ocean technologies each represented less than 1% of new capacity installations.
In 2000, new renewable power installations totaled 3.5 GW. Since then, renewable capacity installations grew almost tenfold, to reach 32 GW in 2011. Moreover, the share of new RES installations has also increased steadily, from 13% to 71% in 2011.
During 2011, 6.3 GW of nuclear capacity was decommissioned and over 1 GW of fuel oil capacity was taken offline. More renewable generating capacity was installed in the EU than ever before representing 71.3% of all new installations. Since 2008, renewable capacity installations have represented more than half of all new installed capacity.
In total, 302.6 GW of new power capacity has been installed in the EU since 2000. Of this, 28.2% was wind power, 47.8% renewables, and 90.8% renewables and gas combined.
The net growth since 2000 of gas power (116 GW), wind power (84.2 GW) and PV (47.4 MW) was at the expense of fuel oil (down 14.2 GW), nuclear (down 13.5 GW) and coal (down 10.3 GW). A sharp decrease was seen in 2011 in nuclear capacity due to the early decommissioning of a number of reactors in Germany. The other renewable technologies (hydro, biomass, waste, CSP, geothermal and ocean energies) have also been increasing installed capacity over the past decade, albeit more slowly than wind and PV.
The 21st century sees the EU power sector moving away from fuel oil, coal, and nuclear while continuing to increase its total installed capacity with gas, wind, and PV to meet increasing demand.
In European waters, 235 new offshore wind turbines, in nine wind farms, were fully grid connected during 2011. By the end 2011, 1,371 turbines were fully grid connected, totaling 3,813 MW in 53 wind farms in ten European countries. During the year, work was carried out on 15 offshore wind farms. Additionally, preparatory onshore work began in eight additional projects and pre-piling in a ninth.
With 752 MW grid-connected in British waters during 2011, 87% of new capacity was added in the United Kingdom. In Germany, 108 MW were added, a 3.6-MW turbine was grid connected in Denmark, and a full scale 2-MW floating prototype was installed in Portugal. Two other down-scaled floating prototypes were tested in Norway and Sweden.
The UK is by far the largest market for offshore wind power with 2,094 MW installed, representing over half of all installed offshore wind capacity in Europe. Denmark follows with 857 MW, then the Netherlands (247 MW), Germany (200 MW), Belgium (195 MW), Sweden (164 MW), Finland (26 MW), and Ireland (25 MW). Norway and Portugal both have a full-scale floating turbine.
By early 2012, almost 5.3 GW of offshore wind capacity was under construction. Once completed, installed offshore capacity in Europe will reach 9 GW. Furthermore, EWEA has identified 18 GW of fully consented offshore projects in 12 European countries.