New figures released today show Europe added record levels of wind power last year.
The annual onshore and offshore wind statistics – compiled by industry body, WindEurope – reveal the continent introduced 15.7 GW of new capacity in 2017, beating the previous record of 12.8GW set in 2015. And in total, wind provided 55% of all power capacity installations last year.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “2017 was a strong year for wind energy with a high number of new installations and wind accounting for 12% of Europe’s electricity. It’s further evidence that wind is mainstream and delivers bang for your buck. It’s cheap, increasingly stable, and industrial consumers are now turning to it as an energy source of choice. Governments have nothing to fear from being ambitious on wind energy and renewables more broadly.”
But the CEO warns the momentum will be lost unless European nations make clear commitments on their future plans for wind energy, as the ‘wind industry won’t invest in Europe’s economy if the market prospects are not there’.
He continued: “We lack clarity from many Governments on their ambitions for renewables post-2020. Countries need to start clarifying how much wind energy they want to deploy in the future. This will give visibility to the industry, allowing us to plan ahead and reduce costs.
“It’s now clear given the recent expansion of renewables and the rapidly falling costs that Europe can deliver on a 35% renewables target for 2030. A 35% target is not just affordable, it’s economically desirable. It’s what the European Parliament wants. The Commission seem to support a higher target. Member States now need to recognise the social and economic benefits of more ambition. The wind industry has shown it can deliver. Now we need policy-makers to deliver as well.”