Europe builds 14.7 GW of latest wind farms in 2020, 19% much less attributable to COVID

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Europe constructed 14.7 GW of latest wind farms in 2020, which was 19% lower than what was anticipated earlier than COVID, statistics on wind power in Europe in 2020 revealed by WindEurope on February 25 confirmed.

According to the statistics, 80% of the brand new capability was onshore wind. The Netherlands constructed probably the most (2 GW, largely offshore) adopted by Germany, Norway, Spain and France. The EU27 accounted for 10.three GW of the brand new capability.

Wind was 16% of all of the electrical energy consumed in Europe in 2020. It was 27% in Germany and the UK, 22% in Spain – and 48% in Denmark.

Looking forward, WindEurope mentioned it expects Europe to construct 105 GW new wind farms over the following 5 years, over 70% of which will probably be onshore. But that is effectively under the tempo wanted to ship the Green Deal and local weather neutrality. The EU27 are set to construct solely 15 GW/a brand new wind over 2021-25, whereas they should construct 17 GW/a over 2021-30 to ship the prevailing 2030 EU renewables goal and 27 GW/a to ship the upper goal that’s now coming with the 55% local weather goal.

“Wind is now 16% of Europe’s electricity,” WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson mentioned. “But Europe is not building enough new wind farms to deliver the EU’s climate and energy goals. The main problem is permitting. Permitting rules and procedures are too complex. There are not enough people working in the permitting authorities to process permit applications. Governments have to address this. Otherwise the Green Deal is at risk,” he added.

Dickson mentioned it’s not simply the wind business that’s apprehensive. So are Europe’s core manufacturing industries that wish to wind power to assist their decarbonisation targets, he mentioned. Steel and chemical compounds are two energy-intensive sectors that each need extra wind farms, to assist electrify their processes or to energy them with renewable hydrogen. Their competitiveness is determined by ample quantities of inexpensive wind power.

According to WindEurope, the primary drawback is allowing. “Permitting rules and procedures are too complex, and government at all levels are not employing enough people to process permit applications. The result is it’s taking too long to get permits for new projects, permit decisions are being challenged in courts and developers are deterred from pursuing new projects because of the risks and costs involved,” WindEurope mentioned, calling on governments to take pressing motion to handle this.

Meanwhile the variety of older wind generators reaching the top of their operational life is rising. In 2020 Europe decommissioned 388 MW of wind power. Many decommissioned wind farms are being repowered however not sufficient of them. Obstacles to repowering resulted in Austria ending 2020 with much less wind capability than it had in the beginning of the 12 months. In the following 5 years 38 GW of wind farms will reach 20 years of operation and require a call on their future: repowering, life-time extension or full decommissioning.

Germany which has lengthy been the engine of the wind power in Europe solely put in 1.65 GW of wind farms final 12 months, its lowest in a decade, WindEurope mentioned. Many of its wind auctions had been undersubscribed. Permitting has been the primary drawback, however the variety of new wind farm permits truly elevated final 12 months. This suggests a restoration is forward, however Germany stays far off from what it wants to put in to fulfill its renewables targets. More encouragingly, Poland constructed a major quantity of latest onshore wind and has dedicated now to a significant build-out of offshore wind. France noticed additional regular growth of onshore wind and can begin putting in its first industrial offshore wind farms within the coming years.

Cefic Director General Marco Mensink famous that renewable electrical energy together with wind energy is a cornerstone within the decarbonization of the Chemical business in Europe. “We simply need it, we need it at a competitive price and we need more, both for direct electrification and to fulfill our central role in the hydrogen economy. WindEurope’s new figures clearly reveal a problem in the future supply as simply not enough capacity is added. The sheer volume needed by different industries, who all will increase electrification at the same time and increase demand requires targeted action,” he mentioned, including that particular deal with electrification in business, sectoral roadmaps to tell and strengthen the Commission’s Industrial Ecosystems mannequin, larger coverage coherence throughout the board and adaptive state assist and competitors legislation frameworks to allow the brand new fashions of cross-sector cooperation which Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has known as for are all wanted.

EUROFER Director General Axel Eggert mentioned the EU wants to hurry up considerably the set up of wind capability that gives inexpensive electrical energy for Europe’s inexperienced transition. “Wind energy and steel already today form a critical ecosystem in Europe and will so even more on Europe’s way to carbon neutrality and circularity. Our industry is eager to deliver not only 100% recyclable, perfectly circular steel to its clients, including the wind industry, but also steel that is CO2 neutral,” Eggert mentioned, including, “For this, we need wind energy to help providing the 400 TWh of electricity that our industry requires by 2050, an amount comparable to the electricity consumption of France”.

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