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Wind energy in Europe in 2019: Offshore wind installations hit a record

The new edition of the annual Wind energy in Europe report published by WindEurope represents developments and statistics on Europe’s wind energy activity in 2019. Data in the report provides information on the 28 EU member countries in particular and Europe in general, including wind power installations and generation, wind turbine size, as well as investments, auctions and tenders in the industry.

After a 32% dramatic drop in 2018, European wind energy recovered somewhat in 2019, with 27% more installations than in 2018, but still 10% less than in the record year 2017. Total European installations in 2019 were 15.4 GW, 86% (13.2 GW) of them accounted for the EU-28. Although offshore wind installations with 3.6 GW broke the record, still 76% (11.7 GW) of the new wind installations were onshore.

According to the report, Europe now has a total of 205 GW of installed wind power capacity – 183 GW onshore and 22 GW offshore. 15% of the electricity the EU-28 consumed in 2019 is covered by wind energy.
The key highlights on the country level are:

  -  Five countries accommodate 67% of wind power in Europe – Germany (30%), Spain (13%), UK (11%), France (8%) and Italy (5%).

  -  The UK took the lead in 2019 accounting for 16% (2.4 GW) of the new installations in Europe. 74% of that was offshore wind.

  -  In second position is Spain, leading the installations of onshore wind farms (2.3 GW), the highest volume since 2009.

  -  Germany was the third largest market in 2019, where offshore wind power overtook onshore for first time ever. This is due to a   relatively bad year for onshore wind as well as the growing competitiveness of offshore wind turbines.

  -  Sweden accounts for 10% of Europe’s new installations. Within a year the country more than doubled its installations – from 720 MW in 2018 to 1,588 MW in 2019.

  -  Outside the EU, installations rose in Ukraine, Norway and Turkey (each installed between 600 and 800 MW).

  -  14 countries had no wind installations in 2019, nine of them were EU28 Member States.

  -  Denmark has the highest share of wind energy in an electricity mix (48%), followed by Ireland (33%), Portugal (27%), Germany (26%) and the UK (22%).

The size and type of wind turbines installed in Europe varied from country to country. Finland had the most powerful onshore wind turbines installations (average rating of 4.3 MW); Greece had the lowest average power rating (2.3 MW). The world’s largest turbine is GE’s Haliade-X, the industry’s first 12 MW turbine. In 2019, its first prototype was installed at the Port of Rotterdam for testing, with its commercialisation expected to be in 2021. In comparison to 2018, investments in new wind farms in 2019 experienced a 24% drop and were at €19 billion. Significant figures for falling investments were seen in Germany, which reached their historic minimum of €300 million. Spain was the leader in investing in new wind energy assets in 2019, gaining a total financial activity of €2.8 billion.