Europe has witnessed an addition of 6.1GW of extra wind energy capacity in the first half of 2017, according to figures released by WindEurope.
The figure puts Europe on course for a bumper year for installations, although hides some worrying trends.
A total of 4.8 GW of onshore wind capacity was installed in the first half of 2017, although it was heavily concentrated in Germany (2.2 GW), UK (1.2 GW) and France (492 MW). There has also been a flurry of activity in offshore wind: 18 projects in four EU Member States (Germany, UK, Belgium and Finland), which saw a total of 1.3 GW installed.
In investments, €8.3bn on new asset financing was made in the first half of the year: €5.4bn in onshore and €2.9bn in offshore, the latter down from a record high of €14bn in the same period in 2016. Again, the trend for market concentration was visible, with 53% of total investments (onshore and offshore) made in Germany and no offshore investments made in the UK.
WindEurope Chief Policy Officer, Pierre Tardieu, said: “We are on track for a good year in wind capacity installations but growth is driven by a handful of markets. At least ten EU countries have yet to install a single MW so far this year. On onshore wind, the end of UK Renewable Obligation scheme will lead to even greater market concentration in Germany, Spain and France. On offshore, the level of finance activity is a concern. Although this won’t translate into lower installations for another few years, the industry needs clarity on volumes for the post-2020 period to maintain the current cost reduction trend”.
Tardieu added: “Member States should come forward as soon as possible with their National Energy and Climate Plans to 2030. In combination with the three-year auctioning schedule proposed by the European Commission, the national plans will give sorely needed visibility to the wind energy supply chain”.