February 17 (Renewables Now) - Europe added 15.4 GW of new wind power generation capacity in 2019, up by 27% from a year ago, industry body WindEurope announced today.
This brought the continent’s installed wind power capacity to 205 GW. Wind's share in 2019's overall electricity consumption was 15%.
Of the 15.4 GW added in 2019, 11.8 GW came from onshore wind parks, while the offshore segment accounted for the remaining 3.6 GW. The biggest contributor was the UK where 2.4 GW of on- and offshore wind farms went live, closely followed by Spain with 2.3 GW of newly-commissioned plants, all of them onshore. Germany, the previous long-time leader in the industry, brought online 1.1 GW of onshore and offshore capacity each. Sweden and France put on stream 1.6 GW and 1.3 GW, respectively, all onshore.
In spite of the year-on-year increase in capacity additions, the pace of annual deployments is still not high enough to meet the commitments under the European Union's (EU’s) recently unveiled Green Energy Deal, alarmed WindEurope’s CEO Giles Dickson. “Climate neutrality and the Green Deal require Europe to install over twice as much new wind energy each year as it managed in 2019. And the growth needs to come from both offshore and onshore wind,” he said.
The past year marked EUR 19 billion (USD 20.6m) of new investments that covered 11.8 GW of new wind projects. The fresh capacity that was awarded through government auctions totalled 15 GW, according to the statistics.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.084)