Europe's wind investments decline in 2021 but fund record 24.6 GW

Wind park installation in Germany. Author: Evert Kuiken.

May 4 (Renewables Now) - Europe invested EUR 41.4 billion (USD 43.7bn) in new wind farms last year, which is 11% below the 2020 investment level but is financing a record 24.6 GW of new capacity, WindEurope said today as it released its Finance and Investment Trends report.

The latter record was possible thanks in part to the high amount of onshore capacity financed -- 19.8 GW.

The industry group still warned that the investments are not enough to meet EU climate and energy security targets. According to its report, in the EU, 19 GW of new wind projects were financed, while an installation rate of 32 GW per year is needed to reach the current 40% renewable energy targets by 2030.

In the strong onshore wind investments WindEurope sees signs that Europe is “starting to turn the corner on permitting,” but it says that the market is only half the size it should be, which is undermining supply chain competitiveness amid rising material and shipping costs.

"To restore the health of the wind energy supply chain the EU must continue to improve permitting, ensure a strong home market and pursue trade and industrial policies that support the sector,” WindEurope said. It warned against auctions permitting zero or negative bidding, where additional costs need to be passed on to electricity consumers or the wind supply chain.

In terms of countries, the UK invested the highest amount, EUR 9.4 billion, mainly in offshore wind, followed by Germany with EUR 8 billion and France with EUR 4.6 billion. Next came Spain, Sweden and Finland, with a further five countries investing more than EUR 1 billion.

Last year was also a record year for corporate renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs). New PPA deals totalled 6.9 GW, of which wind accounted for 60%, and brought renewables under PPA to 18.8 GW.

(EUR 1 = USD 1.056)

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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