July 25 (Renewables Now) - Europe has installed 4.9 GW of new wind power generating capacity in the first half of 2019, up from 4.5 GW a year earlier, industry body WindEurope announced today.
While offshore installations rose to 1.9 GW from 1.1 GW, onshore additions decreased to 2.9 GW from 3.3 GW due to serious permitting challenges in Germany. The association, though, expects onshore activity to be sped up in the second half of the year, when Sweden, Norway and Spain are seen to connect to their grids significant volumes.
In all of Europe, France was the nation that installed the most onshore wind capacity -- 523 MW, followed by Sweden with 459 MW and Germany with 287 MW.
“Germany had the lowest first half of the year for new onshore wind installations since 2000. Permitting challenges remain the key bottleneck: 11 GW of onshore wind are stuck in the permitting process in Germany,” commented Pierre Tardieu, WindEurope’s chief policy officer.
As per offshore additions, the UK installed 931 MW, Denmark deployed 374 MW, Belgium added 370 MW and Germany contributed 252 MW in January-June 2019.
According to Tardieu, Europe will not be able to achieve its 2030 renewable energy target of 32% at the current rate of installations.
During the six-month period, Europe spent EUR 8.8 billion (USD 9.8bn) on the construction of future wind parks, including EUR 6.4 billion on onshore projects and EUR 2.4 billion on offshore schemes. WindEurope pointed out that this will lead to 5.9 GW of wind capacity being installed and hooked to the grid over the next two to three years.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.11)