EWEA predicts EU wind capacity rise

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The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) expects 10GW of new wind-power capacity to be installed in the EU during 2010, taking total installed capacity by the end of 2010 to almost 85GW − an increase of 13 per cent.

Last year − a record year for wind power installation − saw 10.163GW of new wind-power capacity installed, constituting 39 per cent of all new power capacity installed in the EU that year. Total installed wind-power capacity by the end of 2009 was 74.767GW.

’We predict another strong year for wind-turbine installations in Europe, repeating the high level achieved in 2009. What is encouraging is that, unlike in 2009, the 2010 results consist of orders placed after the start of the financial crisis. This shows continued and strong investor confidence in the technology,’ said Christian Kjaer, chief executive officer of the EWEA.

’It is too early to say whether, for a third year running, there will be more wind-energy capacity installed than any other electricity-generating technology, but it is clear that wind energy will be competing for the top spot with new gas power plants,’ he added.

2010 will see more installations in offshore wind power, with up to 1GW of new capacity expected to be installed during the year, compared with the 577MW installed in 2009.

EWEA expects France and Italy to again install around 1GW each in 2010. The expected decline in installations in Spain will be more than compensated for by a doubling of installations in the new member states − led by Romania and Bulgaria − and significant growth in the UK, particularly offshore. Germany is expected to be the largest market this year, closely followed by the UK.