New confirmed investments in wind power in Europe reached EUR 19 billion (USD 20.7bn) last year and could have been at record levels if not for the near standstill in Germany, WindEurope said on Tuesday.
The trade body’s annual “Financing and Investment Trends” report also shows that EUR 33 billion have been invested in 2019 in the refinancing and acquisition of wind projects and other transactions.
New investments in onshore wind stood at EUR 13 billion across more than 10 GW of projects. This segment’s share of wind capacity additions is expected to remain at around 80% in the next five years, said Giles Dickson, chief executive of WindEurope.
“Governments and investors continue to have strong appetite for onshore wind. Because in most of Europe it is the cheapest form of new power generation capacity,” Dickson added.
Spain was the leader in Europe in terms of financed wind capacity and investments last year. There, the total amount reached EUR 2.8 billion. Sweden and Poland were also in the EU’s top three for onshore wind investments in 2019.
WindEurope’s report reveals that the share of non-recourse debt has reached 49% of the total investment in new onshore wind projects. For offshore wind that share is even higher, at 77% of all investment. Banks extended over EUR 20 billion of non-recourse debt for wind projects in 2019.
“We have yet to see the scale of COVID-19's impact on wind energy investments. But our message to investors and policymakers is clear: Renewable energies and the European Green Deal are the motor for Europe’s recovery. They create growth. They secure jobs. They’re key to our technological leadership towards a climate neutral economy,” Dickson said.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.09)
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