Wind energy is set to become the leading renewable energy technology in the European Union by 2020, according to an analysis of national renewable energy action plans.

ENDS Europe, an environmental market intelligence firm, has analysed 13 action plans and says that by 2020 the installed wind energy capacity in Europe will be greater than those of hydropower and solar put together. Germany, Spain and the UK will be the leading wind energy markets.

Solar, biomass and hydropower will be the other top sources of renewable energy for electricity in 2020. Biomass will be by far the largest source of renewable energy in the heating and cooling sector, while biodiesel will be the main source of renewable fuels.

Wind power growth in the UK, according to its national plan, is strongly reliant on offshore generation, with installed capacity expected to reach nearly 13 000 MW by 2020, starting from 1390 MW today.

The Netherlands and Poland also have very ambitious growth plans in terms of electricity generation from wind, rising from 4470 GWh and 1911 GWh respectively at present to an estimated 32 408 GWh and 13 541 GWh in 2020.

Denmark’s early lead in the sector is going to be superseded by more rapid growth in other countries over the next decade. By 2020, Denmark expects to generate 11 713 GWh of electricity from wind, placing it behind eight other EU countries out of the 13 analysed. At present Denmark is in fourth place with 8606 GWh.