Notwithstanding expansive growth in wind energy in the Asian market from 2007 onwards, Europe and North America are, along with Asia, amongst the world’s largest wind energy markets. Wind energy plants with a total capacity of around 161,000 MW (EU: 154.000 MW) had been installed in European countries as at the end of 2016, accounting for around 33 per cent of global installed capacity of around 490.000 MW. In 2016 alone, around 13,900 MW of new wind capacity was developed in Europe, corresponding to a quarter of the total newly installed capacity of over 54,600 MW worldwide.
Germany takes the top ranking in Europe
Germany is Europe’s leader in wind energy rankings – significantly ahead of Spain, Great Britain, France and Italy. These five countries combined account for overall wind power capacity of almost 110,000 MW – around 70 per cent of overall European wind energy capacity.
New dynamic with offshore exploitation in the North Sea and Baltic Sea
Alongside the expansion of onshore wind energy in Europe, consumption of offshore wind energy has increased in significance over the last years. Similarly to the onshore market, Europe has also proven to be a catalyst for worldwide growth in offshore wind energy. However, in 2016 significantly less offshore wind turbines were connected to the grid than in the previous record year 2015. With a cpacity of more than 1,500 megawatts (MW), only half as much offshore capactiy as in 2015 (around 3,000 MW) was newly commissioned in 2016. At the end of 2016, Europe’s offshore wind farms had around 12,600 MW (2015: 11,100 MW) of capacity on the grid.
Top 10 Countries by wind energy capacitiy in the EU in 2016
|Country||Capacity 2016 1 [MW]||New Capacity 2016 1 [MW]||Capacity 2015 1 [MW]||Electricity Generation 2015 [Mrd. kWh]|
1 = Onshore- and Offshore-Commissionings
Data: WindEurope/EWEA, IWR, EuroStat , © IWR, 2017