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Wind energy provided 14% of the EU’s electricity last year, up from 12% in 2017, according to statistics released by WindEurope. Wind power capacity rose in Europe by 11.3 GW in 2018: 8.6 GW onshore and 2.65 GW offshore.
Continued growth in capacity and the use of more powerful turbines are helping to drive up wind’s share in the electricity mix. Denmark had the highest share of wind in its electricity last year (41%) followed by Ireland (28%) and Portugal (24%). Wind was 21% of Germany’s electricity.
Wind accounted for 49% of all the new power generation capacity in Europe in 2018. But the amount of new wind capacity was down a third on 2017 (a record year). Wind energy won 9 GW of new capacity in auctions last year, compared to 13 GW in 2017. Capacity additions in Germany were down by over half after poorly designed auctions (now sorted) and problems with permitting (ongoing). And the number of new onshore wind farms dried up in the UK. Europe now has 189 GW of wind power capacity: 171 GW onshore and 18 GW offshore.
2018 was a record year for new wind capacity financed. 17 GW of future projects reached Final Investment Decision (FID): 13 GW onshore and 4.2 GW offshore. This is 45% more than in 2017 but only 20% more in euros invested, showing that costs continue to fall and you get more bang for your buck.
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