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Europe’s Record Breaking Installation of 17GW Wind Power in 2021 Unable to Fulfill Climate Target

published: 2022-03-02 9:30

According to the data of Wind Europe, Europe added 17.4GW of wind power generation in 2021, which is a record high and a YoY increase of 18%.

However, such level may not be enough in fulfilling the increasing power demand, as well as climate and renewable energy targets. For instance, the mere installation of 11GW from EU, formed with 27 countries, in 2021, was barely sufficient in attain energy and climate targets. Giles Dickson, CEO of Wind Europe, commented that EU’s attainment of 40% renewable energy by 2030 would require 36GW additional wind power installation each year.

Dickson commented that the EU only added 11GW of installations in wind power throughout 2021, and is merely planning to add 18GW for each of the next five years, which may affect the green deal, as well as impact the wind power supply chain of Europe.

The EU is currently hoping to reduce 55% of greenhouse gas emission by 2030, and elevate the ratio of renewable energy from the current 32% to more than 42%. Wind Europe also pointed out another impedance in the growth of wind power installed capacity, which are corresponding policies, as well as the prolonged and complicated administrative procedures. The approval from the government is one of the hindrances, and the main bottleneck, for the wind power industry in the future.

Companies, including ENERCON, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, GE Renewable Energy, Vestas, Nordex, and Wind Europe, are urging the government to simplify the approval procedure.

With that being said, the overall installed capacity of wind power is still climbing continuously in the EU. The EU arrived at 14GW of onshore wind turbine installations and 3.4GW of offshore wind power in 2021, with annual power generation at 437TWh that satisfies 15% of power demand in the EU and the UK. The largest offshore and onshore wind power markets lie on the UK and Sweden, with a respective installed capacity of 2.3GW and 2.1GW.

 (Cover photo source: Flickr/Michael Mueller CC BY 2.0)

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