July 26 (Renewables Now) - The European wind industry saw the addition of 4.5 GW of fresh capacity in the first half of 2018, down from 6.1 GW a year back, but it is still on track for a “solid year,” according to WindEurope.
The new capacity additions in the six months were in line with expectations, the trade body said on Thursday. A total of 3.3 GW of onshore wind parks were put on stream and 1.1 GW of the capacity came from offshore wind.
Capacity additions in the onshore segment were led by Germany, which installed 1.6 GW. Next came France with 605 MW and Denmark with 202 MW. Meanwhile, in terms of fresh deployments, the offshore market was headed by the UK with 911 MW of new plants. Belgium commissioned 175 MW of offshore wind farms and Denmark brought online 28 MW.
In spite of the overall drop in the six months, Europe is “on track for a solid year in new wind farm installations but the growth is driven by just a handful of markets,” said Pierre Tardieu, WindEurope’s chief policy officer. He noted that governments should provide long-term visibility to the supply chain so as to ensure clarity in the sector that will help Europe meet its 32% renewables goal by 2030 “cost effectively.”
In 2018, WindEurope expects 13.5 GW of new capacity additions in the wind sector, of which 3.3 GW offshore and 10.2 GW onshore installations.
In terms of visibility, Tardieu also pointed out that France is expected to record a drop in installations this year due to administrative issues related to onshore wind permits, while Germany is slow on confirming auction volumes for wind power after 2019-2020.