Wed Feb 3rd, 2010 at 08:46:13 AM EST
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) just released its 2009 statistics. Despite the Great Financial Crisis (and some political problems in certain countries), the EU added more than 10 GW of new capacity last year -- a new record, and, like last year, the wind industry also beat all other technologies (39% of new capacity, with another 22% coming from other renewables, chiefly PV). The electricity they will generate annually is equivalent to 2-3 nuclear blocks.
2010 was the year off-shore wind really took off, but the 581 MW installed in the seas was still less than 6% of the total: so, despite some local obstacles and already significant buildup, on-shore development continued apace.
Looking at individual member states, the leaders remain Spain (almost 2.5 GW) and Germany (more than 1.9 GW) -- both numbers stronger than expected --; and Italy, France and the UK contributed a little over 1 GW each. Other stories of note are
- significant new installations in new EU members (Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Bulgaria, Lithuania);
- 50% growth (0.5 GW new) on the long sluggish Swedish market;
- significant new additions in Denmark after a long (politically caused) lull;
- still, now even Portugal overtook the pioneering country in total installed;
- Beyond the EU, sustained high growth in Turkey (another 343 MW added for a 801 MW total).
The EU now has a total of almost 75 GW installed (in that a little over 2 GW off-shore).
On the negative side, three EU members remain to develop their wind resource: Romania, Cyprus and Malta. Nothing much happened in 2009 in four others: Austria (where halting wind expansion was an executive decision justified with supposed grid overload issues), Finland, Luxembourg and Latvia. One of the wind power pioneers, the Netherlands, also suffered a major market collapse.
Here are all the stats for new wind installations:
Here is the pie chart of all new capacity by type of technology:
- The above is based on capacity (what one measures in GW), and doesn't translate into generated electricity (measured in TWh/year), which is influenced by downtimes for maintenance, intermittency, and off hours for peaker plants.
- For the development of the power sector, decommissionings are relevant, too.
The latter are also shown in another graph in the EWEA press release:
For comparison of annual generation with coal and nuclear, wind should be divided by about four, PV (photovoltaics) by nine; I don't know about gas but I'd guess roughly by 2. So on that metric, in 2009 additions gas probably still lead. But here is the trend: