Europe installed a total of 6.1 gigawatts (GW) worth of new wind energy capacity during the first half of 2017, according to new figures published this week by WindEurope, putting the region on course for a big year of new wind energy installations.
According to WindEurope, the European trade organisation for wind energy, a total of 4.8 GW (gigawatt) worth of wind energy capacity was installed in the first six months of 2017, as well as 1.3 GW worth of offshore wind, amounting to 6.1 GW for the first half of the year. Investments in wind amounted to €8.3 billion in new asset financing, made up of €5.4 billion in onshore and €2.9 billion in offshore. Unfortunately for offshore wind, that is a significant drop from the €14 billion raised during the first half of 2016.
Activity was unsurprisingly concentrated again, with 2.2 GW installed in Germany, 1.2 GW installed in the UK, and 492 MW installed in France. Offshore was similarly concentrated, with 18 projects across only four EU member states — Germany, the UK, Belgium, and Finland. Market concentration was visible in investments as well, with 53% of all investments for onshore and offshore made in Germany and no offshore investments made in the UK.
“We are on track for a good year in wind capacity installations but growth is driven by a handful of markets,” said WindEurope Chief Policy Officer, Pierre Tardieu. “At least ten EU countries have yet to install a single MW so far this year. On onshore wind, the end of UK Renewable Obligation scheme will lead to even greater market concentration in Germany, Spain and France. On offshore, the level of finance activity is a concern. Although this won’t translate into lower installations for another few years, the industry needs clarity on volumes for the post-2020 period to maintain the current cost reduction trend.
“Member States should come forward as soon as possible with their National Energy and Climate Plans to 2030. In combination with the three-year auctioning schedule proposed by the European Commission, the national plans will give sorely needed visibility to the wind energy supply chain.”
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