As of 2021, Europe has 17 GW of new wind capacity installed. That’s not a bad picture, yet it falls short by half of meeting Europe’s 2030 Climate and Energy goals. Spurred on this and Europe’s inclination to lessen dependency on other countries, the continent is getting ready to add 116 GW of wind power by 2026. A large chunk of the installed power is onshore (81%) mainly found in Sweden, Germany, and Turkey. The UK is also betting bigger on offshore wind installations. But which country is the largest wind producer in Europe and how does this decade look for them?
The UK tops the list with over 11,091 offshore wind turbine installations in total. The brits have over 24.8% of its electricity supplied through wind energy, surpassing its coal dependency back in 2016. The UK Government plans to include a 50GW wind energy capacity with over 5GW floating offshore wind capacity. It has arguably the largest offshore wind farm in the world (Hornsea projects), that could produce 1.4 GW of wind power.
In many renewable energy matters, Sweden tops the chart. The Swedes meet 56% of their energy needs through renewable sources and they plan to be 100% reliant on renewable energy sources by 2040. Wind energy is a vital piece of the energy equation, making up to 17%. In 2000 the Swedish production was under 0.5 TW. 20 years later, the figure sits at 27.6 TWh with over 4,000 wind turbines churning away onshore.
Wind energy met 22% of the German electric needs, and was the second most crucial energy contributor, following coal. Deutschland saw a capacity rise of 55.6 GW at the end of 2017, with around 5.2 GW offshore installations. It aims to increase its onshore wind capacity to 115 GW by 2030, in order to fulfil its plan to be 80% reliant on renewable energy. However, it is to be noted that the number of new onshore wind turbines fell by 14% in 2022, compared with 2021.
Turkey’s terrains have become an ideal ground for wind energy production. With a wind energy capacity of 10 GW, onshore wind energy currently contributes 10% of Turkey’s electricity. Currently the second biggest renewable energy source after hydropower, the Turks plan to add 20 GW into this mix by 2030. This will further boost the country’s wind equipment production sector, ranked fifth largest in Europe.
Windmills have played historically an important role in the Netherlands. This relatively small country has an installed capacity of 8,052 MW with almost 30.5% offshore wind energy. The country met 12% of its electricity demand with this capacity. The Dutch plans to meet the EU-set target of producing 16% renewable energy with a slated investment of 21 GW of installed capacity by 2030.
In 2021 France had a tally of 18,676 MW wind power installations, making it the seventh largest wind power nation. While France is a relative newcomer in the wind energy scape compared to other European countries, it aims to double its wind power capacity levels by 2023. The French government announced recently its plan to build 50 offshore wind farms that could bring the combined capacity to 40 GW by the year 2050.
The Danes derive electricity mostly from renewable energy (67%); wind energy makes up for 46.8% of their portfolio. They have about 754 MW of new installations planned both onshore and offshore. The Danish Parliament is aiming to mitigate its greenhouse emissions by 70% in 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050 by investing more in wind power.
Though we know Spain for its heavy investments in solar, the country has also made way to add 27,446 MW of wind capacity as its secondary source of renewable energy. It makes it the fifth largest in terms of installed wind power after China, the US, Germany and India. Wind energy accounts for over 23% of the Spanish electricity mix and generates over 60TWh.They plan to double their wind capacity by 2030.
Take a deep dive into the wind turbine market at our upcoming summit.
- June 28, 2022
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