|February 06, 2012|
EU wind energy capacity grew 11 per cent during 2011
|The EU added 9,616MW of wind energy capacity during 2011, making up more than a fifth of total new power installations, industry figures have today revealed.|
Offshore growth in the UK and onshore projects in Sweden and Germany helped push member states to a combined total of 93,957MW -- an 11 per cent rise on 2010 and enough to supply 6.3 per cent of the EU's electricity -- the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) said.
Overall, Germany remains the EU country with the largest installed capacity, followed by Spain, France, Italy and the UK.
The level of capacity added is slightly down on the 9,648MW that came online in 2010, due in part to falling numbers of installations in mature markets such as France and Spain.
However, the EWEA points out that the industry has delivered an average annual growth of almost 16 per cent over the past 17 years.
"Despite the economic crisis gripping Europe, the wind industry is still installing solid levels of new capacity," said Justin Wilkes, the EWEA's policy director. "But to achieve the EU's long-term targets we need strong growth again in future years.
"It is critical to send positive signals to investors by European governments maintaining stable policies to support renewables and for the European Union to commit to putting in place a binding renewable energy target for 2030."
Last year saw growth across the continent's renewable energy sector, with more renewable power capacity installed during 2011 than any other year. Renewable power installations accounted for 71 per cent of the 44,939MW of new power capacity added -- an increase of around 38 per cent compared with 2010.
The EU's total installed power capacity increased by 35,468MW to 895,878MW, with wind power increasing its share of installed capacity to 10.5 per cent, and renewable capacity accounting for just over 31 per cent.