Last year – a record year for wind power installation – saw 10.163 GW of new wind power capacity installed, constituting 39% of all new power capacity installed in the EU that year. Total installed wind power capacity by the end of 2009 was 74.767 GW.
"We predict another strong year for wind turbines installations in Europe, repeating the high level achieved in 2009," said Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA. "What is encouraging is that, unlike in 2009, the 2010 results consist of orders placed after the start of the financial crisis. This shows continued and strong investor confidence in the technology."
"It is too early to say whether, for a third year running, there will be more wind energy capacity installed than any other electricity generating technology, but it is clear that wind energy will be competing for the top spot with new gas power plants," added Kjaer.
2010 will see more installations in offshore wind power, with up to 1 GW of new capacity expected to be installed during the year compared to 577 MW installed in 2009.
EWEA expects France and Italy to again install around 1 GW each in 2010. The expected decline in installations in Spain will be more than compensated for by a doubling of installations in the new member states – led by Romania and Bulgaria – and significant growth in the UK, particularly offshore. Germany is expected to be the largest market this year, closely followed by the UK.
EWEA’s announcement was timed to coincide with Global Wind Day which takes place on 15 June. Over 198 events will take place in at least 26 countries including the display by EWEA and Enel Green Power of a 29.5 m wind turbine blade in Brussels next to the main buildings of the European Commission and the European Council. For more information about the Global Wind Day and events around the world see www.globalwindday.org
For more about wind energy capacity at the end of 2009 see www.ewea.org/index.php?id=1665