While there were healthy numbers of new wind installations in Europe during the first half of 2017 there are a few worrying underlying trends, according to statistics released today.
More than 6.1GW of additional wind power has been installed over the past six months, indicating – according to WindEurope – that 2017 is going to be a ‘bumper year for installations’. Momentum is largely being driven by a small number of European countries, though. Germany, France and the UK accounted for the majority of onshore developments; while Finland and Belgium – along with Germany and the UK – spearheaded offshore installations.
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.
“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.”
Others are showing intent, as a joint statement signed at last month’s Offshore Wind Energy 2017 event demonstrated. Denmark joined Germany and Belgium in backing increased deployment of offshore power and the ongoing efforts to further reduce its costs.