EU wind energy growth of 11% makes headlines

EU wind power growth of 11% makes headlines. Wind power made a splash in many media sources this week with news that the sector continues to grow despite the economic gloom gripping Europe. Here’s a short round-up of what the papers said:

This week the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) released new data showing that the wind energy sector in Europe added 9,616 MW of new wind energy capacity last year – making up over a fifth of total new wind farm installations, the Guardian reported. The EWEA points out that the industry has delivered an average annual growth of almost 16% over the last 17 years, the article adds.

The EU Observer wrote on Denmark’s leading position when it comes to the percentage of electricity demand met by wind energy – around 25% which compares to the EU average of 6.3%. The news site added that, “the European Commission describes [wind energy] as one of the fastest-growing energy sources, while the sector itself aims to get wind power to account for 20% of final EU electricity consumption by 2020.”

Business Week focused on the news that wind energy accounted for 21% of the EU’s new power capacity in 2011, while investment levels stood at €12.6 billion – around the same as 2010. The article also noted that renewable energy as a whole accounted for an impressive 71% of all new power additions last year.

Meanwhile, Renewable Energy Focus took a look at global wind energy statistics, reporting that 41 GW of wind energy was installed globally, up 21% from 2010 bringing the total to over 238 GW. The news source quoted the Global Wind Energy Council as saying that 75 countries worldwide have commercial wind power installations, with 22 of them already passing the 1 GW level.

In France, Le Figaro notes that China is the world’s number one in wind energy. China installed 20 times the amount of wind energy capacity than France in 2011, the paper says. In Spain, ABC reported that Spain continues to be Europe’s number two for wind energy. Spain is slightly behind Germany in terms of capacity installed, but way ahead of France, Italy, the UK and Portugal, ABC says.

Further news on new wind energy installations comes this week with the launch of the world’s largest wind farm in the UK. The BBC reported that the 102 wind turbines wind farm – Walney – off the UK’s Cumbrian coast was built in record time and will generate enough electricity for 320,000 homes.

 Zoë Casey,