Investment in new wind power capacity in Europe slowed down to EUR 17 billion (USD 18.44bn) last year, marking the lowest level since 2009, as market interventions and still existing hurdles are making investors reluctant to embark upon new projects.
The investments were made to finance wind farms with a total capacity of 12 GW across Europe which will be installed over the next years. The EU accounts for 10 GW of the total financed capacity, industry association WindEurope said in its latest report.
The investment level reached in 2022 represents a sharp drop from the EUR 41 billion spent on new wind capacity in 2021.
The weak investment sentiment is a result of higher costs for raw materials and international shipping combined with high inflation and skyrocketing electricity prices. In addition, the complex permitting process for new wind energy projects coupled with measures on electricity markets such as revenue caps and national clawback measures have caused a further deterioration in the investment climate in the industry, the association said.
With EUR 2.3 billion in investments, Germany is the European country that invested the most in new wind farms in 2022. Second came Finland with EUR 2.1 billion, followed by Poland with EUR 1.9 billion in new onshore wind projects.
The only investments in offshore wind in 2022 were made in France in two floating wind projects with a combined capacity of 60 MW -- EolMed and Eoliennes Flottantes du Golfe du Lion (EFGL).
Last year, a total of 16 GW of new wind capacity was deployed across the EU with new additions expected to average 20 GW in the next five years, according to WindEurope's estimates.
WindEurope's chief executive Giles Dickson sounded the alarm, saying: "The EU needs to build 31 GW of new wind turbines every year to reach its 2030 targets. But the numbers speak a different language. Last year’s investments in new wind farms only add up to 10 GW. At the same time turbine orders are down and the EU is only building half as much new wind as it needs. The EU must urgently restore investor confidence and channel money into its wind energy supply chain if it wants to reach the REPowerEU objectives.”
(EUR 1 = USD 1.085)
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