Sunday

26th Jan 2020

Focus

Denmark leads EU countries on wind energy

  • EU wind energy use grew 10-fold over the last decade (Photo: European Commission)

European wind energy is picking up as recently released statistics by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) show an upward spike in the number of wind farms created, amount invested, and energy generated.

The European Commission describes it as one of the fasting-growing energy sources, while the sector itself aims to get wind power to account for 20 percent of final EU electricity consumption by 2020. In 2011, wind accounted for 6.3 percent up from 5.3 percent the year before.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

Germany and Spain are Europe's leading producers of wind power followed by France, Italy and the UK.

More renewable power capacity was installed last year in the EU than ever before. And wind power accounted for just over 21 percent of the installations.

In Denmark, wind power accounted for 24 percent of domestic electricity production in 2011 - the highest figure in Europe.

Twelve years ago, renewable power installations totaled 3.5 gigawatts (GW). By 2011, the sector grew ten-fold and generated 32 GW.

Investment is also increasing. Last year, around €12.6 billion was invested in EU wind farms. In 2010, the figure was under €10 billion.

Meanwhile, EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger wrote on Tuesday (7 February) that Europe’s oil bill increased by €100 billion for 2010-11.

"It is high time that we put a plug in this hole and redirect our money from importing energy from outside the EU to making energy investments in Europe," he wrote in an op-ed co-authored by Denmark's minister of energy for EUobserver.

The EWEA report also warns the EU is now installing more coal power plants than it is has decommissioned - only the third year this has happened in the EU since 1998. For the EU to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020, more green energy needs to be generated, says the organisation.

The EU commission wants the industry to invest in offshore wind turbines and is supporting research into new technologies to harness the energy more efficiently.

It believes offshore is key to getting wind turbines to hit the 20 percent energy consumption mark in the next eight years. The money is being invested to reach that goal. Just under €2.5 billion was set aside for the offshore wind power sector last year.

Almost 60 percent of the UK's latest wind turbines were placed off its coast last year.

Opinion

Europe at an energy crossroads

The EU is standing at an unprecedented energy crossroads, facing an urgent need for huge power investments in the next two decades, write European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger and Martin Lidegaard, Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Building.

Germany to cut solar energy subsidies

Germany's solar power industry could cool as Berlin plans to cut subsidies in a sector whose energy capacity output has successfully more than doubled the government’s projected target.

Wind Energy

Europe is the world's biggest fan of wind energy. But other parts of the world, notably China, are catching up fast. EUobserver explores the issues in this section.

Sahara wind and sun to power EU homes

This year, somewhere in Morocco, work will begin on the construction of what is to become a vast network of solar and wind energy farms in the Sahara to provide 15 percent of Europe's electricity.

News in Brief

  1. Catalan premier refuses to step down, despite ruling
  2. UK set to support new fossil fuel projects in Africa
  3. Leftists MEPs travel to visit jailed Catalan MEP
  4. Bulgaria may expel Russian diplomats over 'espionage'
  5. EU, China, others agree on WTO body to settle disputes
  6. EU Commission makes move against Poland on judges law
  7. Soros pledges $1bn for liberal universities
  8. Merkel: Germany unprepared for 2015 refugee crisis

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. AI must have human oversight, MEPs recommend
  2. Second-hand cars flaw in EU Green Deal
  3. Why do EU arms end up in Libya despite UN ban?
  4. Brexit deal to be signed, as sides poised for tough talks
  5. Timmermans urges EU governments to tax carbon
  6. Vietnam sent champagne to MEPs ahead of trade vote
  7. China spy suspect had EU permission to work as lobbyist
  8. EU to unveil 5G 'toolbox' to tackle security threats

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us