More than half of new EU power comes from wind

More than half of the EU’s new electricity generation in 2016 was in the form of wind energy. According to a new report from WindEurope, a total of 12.5GW was connected to […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

More than half of the EU’s new electricity generation in 2016 was in the form of wind energy.

According to a new report from WindEurope, a total of 12.5GW was connected to the grid across the EU’s 28 Member States, bringing total wind capacity up to 153.7GW.

This new generation was 3% less than the growth seen in 2015.

Despite this slight decrease, wind energy managed to cover 10.4% of Europe’s electricity needs over the period.

Germany installed the most, making up a massive 44% of the EU total on its own.

Renewables altogether accounted for 86% of new EU power plant installations in 2016 – 21.1GW of 24.5GW.

Around 10.9GW of the new wind power was installed onshore, with roughly 1.6GW put into place offshore.

Investment reached the new height of €27.5 billion (£23.42bn). Offshore investments rose 39% year on year to €18.2 billion (£15.5bn), while onshore investments were down 29% at €9.3 billion (£7.92bn).

Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope said: “With all the talk about the transition to low carbon, things should be looking good long-term for the wind industry in Europe. But they’re not. Government policy on energy across Europe is less clear and ambitious than it was a few years ago.

“Only seven out of 28 EU Member States have targets and policies in place for renewables beyond 2020. We saw strong expansion in Germany in 2016 but growth remains uneven geographically. Over half the Member States invested nothing in wind energy last year.”

A new education programme aims to get young people interested and involved in the offshore wind industry.