A new report from the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) has highlighted the growth of wind energy across the EU, with 8 per cent of total electricity demand now met with onshore and offshore wind installations.
According to the JRC 2014 wind status report, the connected cumulative capacity of the EU grid reached 129GW last year, equivalent to the annual consumption of the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece and Ireland combined.
The report claims that the growth of wind energy across Europe means it will meet 12 per cent of the EU’s total demand within the next five years, significantly contributing to the EU target of a 20 per cent renewable energy share by 2020.
Over the last two decades, global capacity from wind generation has grown from 3GW to 370GW. Last year saw a record 52.8GW of wind capacity added worldwide, with China accounting for 23.2GW, and EU member states adding 13.05GW.
While China’s wind network is growing faster, the EU still leads the way in cumulative capacity, and 2014 saw Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Romania and Germany generating between 10 and 40 per cent of their electricity from wind.
According to the report, European turbine manufacturers accounted for 78 per cent of the non-China world market in 2014. A reduction in the costs of project financing is helping to reduce the overall cost of generating wind energy, with this downward trend set to continue.