Europe added a record 15.7GW of new wind energy capacity in 2017, according to WindEurope’s annual onshore and offshore wind statistics. New wind farm installations were up 20% on 2016 and beat the previous 2015 record of 12.8GW. Onshore wind capacity grew by 12.5 and offshore wind by 3.1GW.
Seven EU Member States had a record year in new wind energy installations: Germany (6.6GW), UK (4.3GW), France (1.7GW), Finland (577MW), Belgium (476MW), Ireland (426MW) and Croatia (147MW).
Wind was 55% of all power capacity installations in 2017. Renewable energy as a whole accounted for nearly all new EU power installations in 2017: 24.1GW out of a total 28.5GW. 2017 was also a record year for new investments in future wind farms. 11.5GW worth of projects reached Final Investment Decision: 9GW in onshore wind and 2.5GW in offshore. But the value of these investments at € 22.3 billion(€ 14.8 billion onshore and € 7.5 billion offshore) was 19% down on 2016. Cost reductions in the wind industry supply chain and increased competition in auctions gave investors more capacity for less cash.
Wind energy in Europe now has a total installed capacity of 169GW: 153GW onshore and 16GW offshore. Germany remains the country with the largest installed wind power capacity (56GW). It’s followed by Spain (23GW), the UK (19GW) and France (14GW). With a share of 18% wind remains the second largest form of power generation capacity in Europe, closing in on natural gas. Wind energy generated 336 TWh in 2017, enough to cover 12% of EU electricity demand. In Germany wind was 20% of power. It was 44% in Denmark, and 24% in Ireland and Portugal.