EU wind energy installations outperform gas and coal
- Energy ,
- Business & Industry
The wind industry connected almost 11,791MW to the grid across EU states in 2014 compared with a combined total of 5,643MW of new coal and gas facilities, according to a trade body.
In its annual analysis of the state of the wind industry, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) notes that operators of coal and gas power stations both retired more capacity than they commissioned in Europe last year.
Wind energy capacity, meanwhile, increased 3.7% year-on-year from 2013, with cumulative capacity of installations across the EU now standing at 128.8GW.
Germany and the UK accounted for 59.5% of total EU wind energy facilities in 2014, installing 5,279MW and 1,736MW respectively, the report states.
Grid-connected wind power is enough to cover 10% of the EU's electricity consumption, up from 8% the year before, the EWEA says.
Thomas Becker, chief executive officer at the association, said: “Europe is at a turning point for investment in renewables and particularly wind. Plowing financial capital into the industries of old in Europe is beginning to look unwise.”
He warned, however, that uncertainty over the regulatory framework for the energy sector threatens the progress of renewable energy. Politicians need to send a clear signal of their support to a more sustainable energy system, he said.
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