Wind power in the European Union

Wind power in the European Union

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According to the European Wind Energy Association
European Wind Energy Association
The European Wind Energy Association is an association based in Brussels, promoting the use of wind power in Europe. It has over 600 members from nearly 60 countries including manufacturers with a 90% share of the world wind power market, component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and...

 (EWEA) report of February 2011, there are over 12,000 wind turbines in Europe with a total capacity of 84 GW. The European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 accounts for over 98% of that total. In 2010, €12.7 billion was invested in EU wind farms and 9.3 GW of new power capacity was installed. 9.1% of the total energy capacity of the EU now comes from wind, up from just 2.2% in 2000. In a normal wind year, 5.3% of the EU's electricity is produced from wind power.

As of January 2011, offshore wind farms
Offshore wind power
Offshore wind power refers to the construction of wind farms in bodies of water to generate electricity from wind. Better wind speeds are available offshore compared to on land, so offshore wind power’s contribution in terms of electricity supplied is higher....

 account for approximately 3.5% of capacity. There are 1,136 offshore turbines installed, totalling 2.9GW in 45 wind farms in 9 countries.

The world's wind power capacity grew to 158GW in 2009 and the industry is now worth about €45 billion, employing half a million people. Europe therefore accounts for just under half of wind capacity in the world. The leading countries in Europe are Germany (26.4GW) and Spain (20.7GW) followed far behind by the UK (5.2GW), France (5.2GW) and Italy (4.9GW). A total of 20 countries have a capacity of more than 100MW.

A European Environment Agency
European Environment Agency
European Environment Agency is an agency of the European Union. Its task is to provide sound, independent information on the environment. It is a major information source for those involved in developing, adopting, implementing and evaluating environmental policy, and also the general public...

 report, entitled Europe's onshore and offshore wind energy potential confirms wind energy could power Europe many times over. 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.

The EWEA estimates that 230GW of wind capacity will be installed in Europe by 2020, consisting of 190GW onshore and 40GW 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.

Research from a wide variety of sources in various countries shows that support for wind power is consistently between 70 and 80 per cent amongst the general public.

Germany



Germany is the world's third largest user of wind power
Wind power
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships....

, behind China and the United States, with an installed capacity of 27,214 MW in 2010 and projected capacity of 29,000 MW in 2011 followed by Spain which had an installed capacity of 20,674 MW at the end of 2010. More than 21,163 wind turbines are located in the German federal area and the country has plans to build more wind turbines.

Wind power in Germany produces about seven percent of the country's total power. Wind power in Germany provides over 90,000 people with jobs and German wind energy systems are also exported.

However, the economics of wind power in Germany are under close scrutiny and other issues deserve consideration. These include the effect of wind turbines on the landscape, the bird population, and the tourist industry.

Spain




Spain is the leading generator of wind energy in Europe and the second country (after Germany) in installed capacity as of 2011. 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. “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”.

Denmark



Wind power in Denmark provides some 20 per cent of Danish domestic electricity and Denmark is a leading wind power
Wind power
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships....

 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
Vestas
Vestas Wind Systems A/S is a Danish manufacturer, seller, installer, and servicer of wind turbines. It is the largest in the world, but due to very rapid growth of its competitors, its market share decreased from 28% in 2007 to 12.5% in 2009...

.

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.

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.

United Kingdom


In February 2011 the installed capacity of wind power in the United Kingdom passed the 5 GW milestone, equivalent to two coal fired power stations, with the opening of the Braes O'Doune wind farm, near Stirling
Stirling
Stirling is a city and former ancient burgh in Scotland, and is at the heart of the wider Stirling council area. The city is clustered around a large fortress and medieval old-town beside the River Forth...

. The UK is the seventh country in the world to reach this capacity.

Romania



As of 2010, wind power in Romania has an installed capacity of 462 MW, up from the 14.1 MW installed capacity in 2009.
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
Moldavia
Moldavia is a geographic and historical region and former principality in Eastern Europe, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester river...

.

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
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 and Irish Sea
Irish Sea
The Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. It is connected to the Celtic Sea in the south by St George's Channel, and to the Atlantic Ocean in the north by the North Channel. Anglesey is the largest island within the Irish Sea, followed by the Isle of Man...

. Wind power capacity factor
Capacity factor
The net capacity factor or load factor of a power plant is the ratio of the actual output of a power plant over a period of time and its potential output if it had operated at full nameplate capacity the entire time...

s 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.

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
Arklow
Arklow , also known as Inbhear Dé from the Avonmore river's older name Abhainn Dé, is a historic town located in County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland. Founded by the Vikings in the ninth century, Arklow was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the 1798 rebellion...

 and 10 km out to sea and is known as the Arklow Bank Wind Park
Arklow Bank Wind Park
The Arklow Bank Wind Park is the first offshore wind farm in Ireland and the world's first commercial application of offshore wind turbines over 3 megawatts in size. It is located on the Arklow Bank, a shallow water sandbank in the Irish Sea, around off the coast of Arklow with an area of...

. This is set to expand in the future. Other proposals are an offshore wind farm on the Kish Bank
Kish Bank
The Kish Bank is a shallow sand bank about seven miles off the coast of Dublin, in Ireland. It is marked by the Kish Lighthouse, a landmark well known to sailors and ferry passengers passing through Dublin Bay and Dún Laoghaire harbour.Many ships were wrecked on these shallows...

 which is about 15 kilometers offshore from Dublin, the capital city. With another planned wind farm at Clogherhead (north of Drogheda
Drogheda
Drogheda is an industrial and port town in County Louth on the east coast of Ireland, 56 km north of Dublin. It is the last bridging point on the River Boyne before it enters the Irish Sea....

, south of Dundalk
Dundalk
Dundalk is the county town of County Louth in Ireland. It is situated where the Castletown River flows into Dundalk Bay. The town is close to the border with Northern Ireland and equi-distant from Dublin and Belfast. The town's name, which was historically written as Dundalgan, has associations...

), 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.

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.

Total capacity

EU Wind Energy Capacity (MW)
No Country 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998
- EU-27 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
Wind power in Germany
In 2010, the installed capacity of wind power in Germany was 27.2 GW. Wind power currently produces about seven percent of Germany’s total electrical power. More than 21,607 wind turbines are located in the German federal area and the country has plans to build more wind turbines...

 
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
Wind power in Spain
Spain is the world's fourth biggest producer of wind power, after China, the United States and Germany, with an installed capacity of 19,959 megawatts at the end of 2010, a rise of 1,609 MW for the year...

 
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 Italy
Wind power in Italy
Italy ranked as the world’s sixth largest producer of wind power with an installed nameplate capacity of 3,736 GW in 2008, behind India and ahead of France and the United Kingdom.-Overview:...

 
5,797 4,850 3,736 2,726 2,123 1,718 1,266 905 788 682 427 277 180
4 France
Wind power in France
France has the third largest wind resource in Europe after Germany and the United Kingdom. Électricité de France, the main French electricity generator and supplier in France plans to increase its capacity to 10 GW in the year 2010....

 
5,660 4,492 3,404 2,454 1,567 757 390 257 148 93 66 25 19
5 UK
Wind power in the United Kingdom
By mid-2011, the installed capacity of wind power in the United Kingdom was over 5.7 gigawatts and the UK is ranked as the world’s eighth largest producer of wind power. Wind power is expected to continue growing in the UK for the foreseeable future, RenewableUK estimates that more than...

 
5,204 4,051 2,974 2,406 1,962 1,332 904 667 552 474 406 362 333
6 Portugal
Wind power in Portugal
In December 2010, there was 3,937 MW of wind power nameplate capacity installed in Portugal. The major wind turbine manufacturers in the Portuguese market are Enercon, Vestas and Gamesa...

 
3,898 3,535 2,862 2,150 1,716 1,022 522 296 195 131 100 61 60
7 Denmark
Wind power in Denmark
Wind power provided 18.9% of electricity production and 24.1% of generation capacity in Denmark in 2008, Denmark was a pioneer 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...

 
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 Netherlands
Wind power in the Netherlands
Wind power in the Netherlands has recently been used as a renewable energy source. By December 2009, 1,975 wind turbines were operational in the Netherlands, with an aggregate capacity of 2,221 MW...

 
2,245 2,229 2,225 1,747 1,558 1,219 1,079 910 693 486 446 433 361
9 Sweden
Wind power in Sweden
Sweden consumes about 150 terawatt hours of electricity per year, of which about 3 TW·h is generated from domestic wind power resources. Several times as much is imported from Denmark, which generates a considerable amount of surplus wind power....

 
2,163 1,560 1,048 788 571 509 442 399 345 293 231 220 174
10 Ireland
Wind power in the Republic of Ireland
As of 2011, the Republic of Ireland has an installed wind power capacity of 1,428 megawatts. It is more than three times the total of 495.2 megawatts in 2005. In 2008 alone, the rate of growth was 54.6%, amongst the highest in the world. On July 31, 2009, the output from the country's...

 
1,428 1,260 1,027 795 746 496 339 190 137 124 118 74 73
11 Greece
Wind power in Greece
Wind power in Greece is about to expand by 352% by 2010 to meet the European target of 20% coverage of energy needs from renewable sources. Currently there are 1,028 wind turbines installed throughout Greece and the number is set to reach 2,587 wind turbines before the end of 2010.According to the...

 
1,208 1,087 985 871 746 573 473 383 297 272 189 112 39
12 Poland
Wind power in Poland
The wind power in Poland is representing as of 31 March 2011 total installed capacity 1,352 MWe. The energy production sources are registered by the state Office of Control of Electricity.The major point of production are:...

 
1,107 725 544 276 153 83 63 63 27 0 0 0 0
13 Austria
Wind power in Austria
Although Austria is a landlocked country with a distinguished hilly topography, meteorological preconditions permit the utilization of wind power. First calculations on the basis of wind measuring data assessed at the meteorological stations in the early 1980s rendered the surprising result of...

 
1,011 995 995 982 965 819 606 415 140 94 77 34 30
14 Belgium
Wind power in Belgium
Wind power in Belgium depends partially on regional governments and partially on the Belgian federal government. Wind energy producers in both the Flemish and Walloon regions get green certificates but not with the same conditions. In 2009 996 GWh of electricity was produced...

 
911 563 415 287 194 167 96 68 35 32 13 6 6
15 Romania
Wind power in Romania
As of 2010, wind power in Romania has an installed capacity of 462 MW, up from the 14.1 MW installed capacity in 2009. Romania has the highest wind potential in South Eastern Europe of 14,000 MW, and investors already have connection requests of 12,000 MW although the national electricity transport...

 
462 14 11 8 3 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
16 Bulgaria  375 177 120 57 36 10 10 0 0 0 0 0 0
17 Hungary
Wind power in Hungary
The installed capacity of wind power in Hungary was 329 MW as of April 2011. Most of wind farms are in the Kisalföld region.As of 1 April 2011, there were 39 operational wind farms in Hungary, with 172 turbines and 329 MW of installed capacity.-Tenders:...

 
295 201 127 65 61 17 3 3 3 0 0 0 0
18 Czech Republic  215 192 150 116 54 28 17 9 3 0 0 0 0
19 Finland
Wind power in Finland
Wind power in Finland was 143 MW with 118 turbines in December 2008. Wind power is the most popular energy resource among Finnish public: 90 % of Finns would want further investments in wind energy in September 2007. In April 2005 the value was 88 %...

 
197 146 143 110 86 82 82 52 43 39 39 39 17
20 Lithuania  154 91 54 54 51 48 6 6 0 0 0 0 0
21 Estonia
Wind power in Estonia
Wind power in Estonia amounts to an installed capacity of 149 MW, whilst roughly 570 MW worth of projects are currently being developed. All wind farms as of now are on land, offshore farms are planned on Lake Peipus and in the Baltic Sea near the island of Hiiumaa.Pakri wind farm is located in...

 
149 142 78 59 32 32 6 2 2 0 0 0 0
22 Cyprus  82 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
23 Luxembourg  42 35 35 35 35 35 35 22 17 15 10 10 9
24 Latvia  31 28 27 27 27 27 27 27 24 0 0 0 0
25 Slovakia  3 3 5 5 5 5 3 0 0 0 0 0
26 Slovenia  0.03 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
27 Malta
Wind power in Malta
Wind power in Malta describes the wind power development in Malta.Malta is a European Union country. The European energy policy has the objective of a sustainable, competitive and secure...

 
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
- EU-27 Offshore 2,946 2,061 1,471 1,088
28 Turkey
Wind power in Turkey
Wind power in Turkey is gradually expanding in capacity. In 2006, 19 MW of wind power was installed, and in 2007, installed wind capacity increased to almost 140 MW:...

 
1,329 801 458
29 Norway  441 431 429 333 314 267 160 101
30 Croatia
Wind power in Croatia
Wind power in Croatia has been growing since the first wind farm was installed in the country in 2004. In December 2009 the cumulative wind power is 21.6 MW....

 
89 28
31 Ukraine  87 94 90 89 86 77
32 Switzerland  42 18 14 12 12 12
33 Russia  9 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
34 Iceland  0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
- Europe (MW) 86,075 76,152 65,741 57,136 48,563 40,898

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.
Wind power
% of electricity and per person
2007 2008 2009 2010
Country % electricity W/person W/person W/person W/person
21.3 579 581 627.5 686.6
11.8 367 370 415.5 449.6
9.3 203 270 332.5 366.4
7.0 270 291 315.3 332.7
8.4 193 228 283.1 319.6
1.3 88 111 166.9 231.6
Average 3.8 116 131 149.2 168.3
3.4 107 136 134.0 135.4
3.3 120 119 118.8 120.7
1.8 45 58 111.3 111.0
3.7 78 88 96.1 106.9
0 0 0 0 102.1
1.7 47 63 80.3 96.1
1.2 40 53 69.9 87.5
1.1 71 90 86.2 86.2
1.8 40 54 65.3 83.9
0.7 28 36 52.0 81.9
0.5 10 21 23.4 49.6
1.1 15 19 27.3 46.3
0.3 21 27 27.3 36.8
0.4 7 12 18.5 31.0
0.4 6 12 20.1 29.3
0.4 11 14 18.4 20.5
0.0 0 1 1 19.5
0.9 12 12 12.5 13.8
0.0 1 1 1 0.9


See also


  • Installed wind power capacity
  • European Wind Energy Association
    European Wind Energy Association
    The European Wind Energy Association is an association based in Brussels, promoting the use of wind power in Europe. It has over 600 members from nearly 60 countries including manufacturers with a 90% share of the world wind power market, component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and...

     (EWEA)
  • Global Wind Energy Council
    Global Wind Energy Council
    The Global Wind Energy Council was established in 2005 to provide a credible and representative forum for the entire wind energy sector at an international level...

  • Renewable energy in the European Union
    Renewable energy in the European Union
    The countries of the European Union are currently the number two global leaders in the development and application of renewable energy. Promoting the use of renewable energy sources is important both to the reduction of the EU's dependence on foreign energy imports, and in meeting targets to combat...

  • Renewable-energy economy

External links