More wind capacity was installed in Europe during 2009 than any other electricity-generating technology, according to statistics released today by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).
Wind accounted for 39 per cent of increased European energy capacity, ahead of gas (26 per cent) and solar (16 per cent). In contrast, the nuclear and coal power sectors decommissioned more megawatts of capacity than they installed in 2009, with a total of 1,393 MW of nuclear and 3,200 MW of coal decommissioned.
According to the EWEA report, €13 billion has been invested in wind farms across the EU in the last year, which are now capable of meeting 4.8 per cent of EU energy demands.
Spain is the country with the biggest share of new wind capacity (24 per cent), followed by Germany (19 per cent), Italy (19 per cent), France (11 per cent) and the UK (10 per cent).
The wind energy sector has grown by an average of 23 per cent over the last 15 years, with annual installations up from 472 MW in 1994 to 10,163 MW in 2009.
'The figures, once again, confirm that wind power, together with other renewable energy technologies and a shift from coal to gas, are delivering massive European carbon reductions, while creating much needed economic activity and new jobs for Europe’s citizens,' said EWEA CEO Christian Kjaer.
More growth needed
The British Wind Energy Agency (BWEA) welcomed the UK’s increase in wind energy capacity but said more needed to be done to ensure the sector continued to develop.
‘The UK has delivered more than 1GW of capacity for the first time in one calendar year, which is enough to power 600,000 homes. It shows that we can deliver as a sector, provided the right policy framework is in place,’ said Nick Medic of the BWEA.
‘We need a policy that provides answers to the four big questions - planning, grid, supply chain and finance,’ he added.
European Wind Energy Association (EWEA)
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