Romania ranks 7th in EU by growth of installed wind energy capacity for 2010

Romania posted the seventh growth in installed wind power capacity among the European Union member states in 2010, namely a 448-megawatt increase to a total of 462 MW, according to a report of the European Wind Energy Association EWEA.

Only 1.6 percent of Romania’s electricity comes from wind farm plants, much lower compared with Denmark, whose wind turbines capacity provides 24 percent of the total energy production. About 14 percent of electricity in Spain and Portugal comes from wind farms, while around 10 percent of Ireland’s and Germany’s production is from wind power projects.

In terms of annual installations, Spain was the largest market in 2010, with 1,516 MW newly-installed, followed by Germany’s 1,493 MW. France was the only other country to install over 1 GW (1,086 MW), followed by the UK (962 MW), Italy (948 MW), Sweden (604 MW), Romania (437 MW), Poland (382 MW), Belgium (350 MW), Portugal (345 MW) and Denmark (327 MW), EWEA said.

The rest of the EU member states posted a total installed wind power capacity of 800 MW in 2010. Germany has the highest wind farm production capacity in the EU, of 27,214 MW, according to 2010 data, followed by Spain, with 20,676 MW, Italy–5,797 MW and France–5,660 MW.

Offshore and Eastern Europe new growth drivers for wind power in Europe

9.3 gigawatt (GW) of new wind power capacity was installed in the EU during 2010, reaching a total of 84 GW by the end of 2010, according to figures released today by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and coinciding with today’s publication by the European Commission on financing renewable energy.

While offshore wind power installations grew 51% from 582 MW in 2009 to 883 MW last year, onshore wind power installations (8.4 GW) were down 13.9% compared to 2009 (9.7 GW).

"These figures are a warning that we cannot take for granted the continued financing of renewable energy" said Christian Kjaer. "Better access to financing is urgently needed, and the European Union must act without delay to prevent Europe losing its leadership in wind power and other renewable technologies. Today’s communication from the Commission on the financing of renewables is a start, as long as it is followed up quickly by the Commission putting its proposals into action."

Total investments in new wind power plant was unchanged at € 13 billion, compared to 2009, due to the larger share of offshore wind capacity.

Newly installed capacity in 2010 (9.3 GW) was 10% down on 2009 (10.3 GW).

"Remarkable growth in the onshore wind markets of Romania, Poland and Bulgaria could not make up for the decline in new onshore installations in Spain, Germany and the UK. Strong development of the offshore wind market was led by the UK, Denmark and Belgium," said Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive Officer of EWEA.

The overall market for renewable power capacity, including wind, solar, hydro and biomass, reached record levels in 2010, increasing 31% from 17.5 GW in 2009 to 22.6 GW in 2010. Renewable energy accounted for 41% of all new installations.

Wind power installations accounted for 17% of new electricity generating capacity in 2010, the first year since 2007 that the EU did not install more wind power than any other generating technology. The EU continues to move away from fuel oil and nuclear power for electricity production, decommissioning more old capacity than installing new capacity. However, for only the second time since 1998, the EU installed more coal power capacity than it decommissioned in 2010. 28 GW of new gas capacity was installed last year, compared to 6.6 GW in 2009. Gas represented 51% of all new power capacity in 2010.

The wind power capacity installed by the end of 2010 will, in a normal wind year, produce 181 TWh of electricity (up from 163 TWh), meeting 5.3% of overall EU electricity consumption (4.8% in 2009).