Technology, market and economic aspects of Wind Energy in Europe and the world

The Joint Research Centre has released the second edition of its annual report on the technology, market and economic aspects of Wind Energy in Europe and the world.


With this second issue, the JRC demonstrates its commitment to make an important contribution to the knowledge base for the wind energy sector, providing up-to-date information on the research, innovation and market potential of the technology, including its economics with a focus on the European Union.

Wind power is the renewable energy which has seen the widest and most successful deployment over the last two decades, from 3 GW to around 320 GW of global cumulative capacity expected at the end of 2013. In Europe, the 100-GW mark was surpassed in September 2012, and this installed base allowed four countries (Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, and Spain) to generate between 15 – 30 % of their electricity from wind. What is more, in 2013 Spain became the first country where wind energy ranked first in the electricity generation mix.

Wind energy will provide at least 12 % of European electricity by 2020, which is a very significant contribution to the 20/20/20 goals of the 2020 European energy and climate policy.

Although this report is Europe-centric, because the wind sector is a global industry, some of its sections have a global scope. The report is based on the core JRC research work on wind technology, on its own databases on wind turbines and installations and on models; on work performed in support of the European Wind Industrial Initiative; on research by key actors from industry and academia; and on exchanges with the industry. The report has been reviewed by reputed experts in the European wind energy field.

A special section in this year’s report shows evidence of a reduction in the time needed for installing offshore foundations by means of expensive installation vessels, and that this learning effect was not mirrored in turbine installation. The data also showed that there is a significant gap between monopile foundation installation and other types of foundations.