EU wind power exceeds the 100 GW threshold in 2012

05/03/2013 00:21

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Last year proved to be a milestone for EU wind power, as installed wind power generation capacity increased by 12.3 percent to exceed the 100 GW threshold, according to EurObserv’ER’s 2012 Wind Power Barometer.

At the end of year, EU wind power capacity accounted 105.6GW due to a new capacity of 11,840 MW which came online in 2012. Wind turbines have generated over 200TWh in 2012, up from 178.9TWh in 2011. Wind energy accounted 26% of all new EU power capacity installed in 2012, and is covering 7% of Europe’s electricity demand – up from 6.3% at end 2011, the equivalent to the power production of 39 nuclear power plants. However, the way to success was not easy, as the European wind energy sector needed about some twenty years to get the first 10 GW grid connected and 13 years to add an additional 90 GW. Half of the total European wind power capacity has been installed over the past six years. Denmark is on the top in terms of wind generation capacity among individual European countries, hitting an overall national energy mix of 745.8 kW per 1,000 inhabitants, being followed by Spain (408.8 kW/1,000 inhabitants), and Portugal (429.2 kW/1,000), while wind power also accounting relatively high percentages of the energy mix in Sweden, Germany and Ireland on a per capita basis. As for the offshore wind power generation capacity, it saw a record growth last year, and the trend is expected to continue in 2013 and 2014. Offshore wind capacity increased more than 32 percent in 2012, boosting to 4,705.8 MW in 2012 from 2011 year-end total of 3,549 MW. The main suppliers of renewable power generation from offshore wind turbines are now UK (2,679 MW), Denmark (922 MW), Belgium (380 MW), Germany (280 MW), the Netherlands (228 MW), Sweden (163 MW), Finland (26 MW), Ireland (25 MW) and Portugal (2 MW).

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