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Wind power leapfrogs hydropower. Europe adds 13 GW of new wind installations

2015 was a record year for wind, which confirmed to be a promising source of power. 12% of Europe’s electricity needs was covered.

Almost 13 (to be more precise 12.8) GW of new power have been installed in 28 EU countries, accounting for 44% of all installations connected to the grid in 2015. Therefore, wind power set a true record and leapfrogged hydropower for the power installed.

 

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A wind turbine in an offshore plant. © Sean Gallup/Getty Images

 

This is the positive scenario painted by EWEA’s (Energy wind power association) latest report: the total wind capacity in Europe today stands at 142GW and covers 11.4% of Europe’s electricity needs.

 

“These numbers show that wind is the driving force behind the EU’s energy transition”, Giles Dickson, CEO of EWEA says. “Wind energy is a mature industry. It makes economic sense and is contributing significantly to Europe’s energy security and competitiveness goals”. Germany leads Europe both for its wind capacity and for the rate at which it is installing new turbines. It is followed by Spain, Great Britain and France. Italy ranks fifth for the installed wind power.

 

According to the report, investment in new wind farms, both offshore or onshore, reached 26.4 billion euros, a 40% increase compared to 2014. Almost half the new wind installations in 2015 were in Germany. “We’ve seen strong expansion in Germany in 2015 and a strong year for offshore wind. But growth is uneven geographically. We’re not doing as well in countries where the policy and regulation is unclear and/or ineffective – investors and developers go elsewhere”, Dickson highlights.

 

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Angela Merkel at the opening of a new plant. © Sean Gallup/Getty Images

 

Wind power prepares to conquer the world

The positive moment for wind power was confirmed also by a recent study conducted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which shows that wind power has beat its record worldwide: 62 GW of new power installed in 2014, a 25% increase on the previous year. China is ahead in the race with 29 GW of wind installations and is followed by the USA (8.6 GW), Germany, India and Brazil.

 

“China was by far the biggest surprise”, said Amy Grace, head of Wind Insight for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “2015 was a fantastic year for the wind industry”.

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