Tuesday

22nd Jan 2019

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 18 year's of archives. 30 days 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. EU hits Mastercard with €570m fine
  2. Romanian minister prepares to cancel corruption cases
  3. Sefcovic: no gas supply problems this winter
  4. Report: Commission warning on passport-sale schemes
  5. France summons Italian ambassador over colonial remark
  6. May U-turn on fee for EU nationals in UK
  7. French data watchdog gives Google €50m fine
  8. EU hits Russians with sanctions over Salisbury attack

Opinion

Salvini and Kaczynski - the new 'axis' powers?

Populists and Eurosceptics are slowly realising that the goal of dismantling the EU is not only unrealistic, costly and unpopular - but also deprives them of valuable opportunities to accumulate political capital and exert influence.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. France and Germany hope to revive EU with Aachen treaty
  2. May pushes defeated Brexit deal, offers no Plan B
  3. European Parliament targets 'fake' political groups
  4. What is fate of non-euro EU states after Brexit?
  5. Turkish NBA star takes on Erdogan
  6. 'Meme ban' still on table in EU copyright bill, says MEP
  7. Brexit power grab by MPs hangs over May's 'Plan B'
  8. Polish mayor's funeral marred by Tusk TV dispute

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us