Posted on 19 July 2012.
132 new offshore wind turbines, totalling 523.2 megawatts (MW) were fully grid connected in Europe in the first six months of 2012. This is a 50% increase compared to the same period in 2011 when 348.1 MW were installed.
“Offshore wind power creates jobs in Europe, reduces our fuel import costs, and avoids the global and local health and environmental costs of extracting, transporting and burning fossil fuels. Offshore wind power is increasingly attracting investors, including pension funds and other institutional and corporate investors, but it would be good to see more activity in southern Europe where jobs, investments and growth are desperately needed,” says Christian Kjaer, chief executive of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).
2012 could turn out to be the best year ever for offshore wind energy in Europe, as a further 160 turbines, totalling 647.4 MW, are built but awaiting grid connection. This is subject to weather conditions at sea and grid connection delays.
A total of 4,336 MW offshore wind capacity was operating as of 30 June 2012 – up from 3,294 MW in June 2011 – producing electricity for the equivalent of 4 million households.
During the first half of 2012 overall, 13 wind farms were under construction. Once completed these wind farms will account for an additional capacity of 3,762 MW
Posted in Energy, Featured News
Posted on 16 March 2012.
The European Parliament has voted for the first time in favour of setting a binding renewable energy target for 2030. “The Parliament’s vote sends a strong message to the European Council as it prepares its response to the European Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050,” comments Stephane Bourgeois, head of regulatory affairs at the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). “Ministers should take heed of the European Parliament and endorse a binding renewables target for 2030. Binding targets for renewables are proven to be effective, and targets for 2030 would continue to drive European industry, boost energy security and are key in tackling climate change.”
A 2030 renewable energy target is supported by Climate Action Commissioner Hedegaard, and Energy Commissioner Oettinger has called for a decision on such a target by 2014. The Parliament’s vote was part of the Davies report on the 2050 low carbon economy roadmap.
The European Parliament has also voted in favour of calling on the Commission to correct the failings of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), possibly through a set-aside of allowances.
“MEPs have voted to take the urgent action which is needed to boost carbon prices in order to help the carbon market recover and fix the ETS,” says Remi Gruet, senior regulatory affairs advisor for climate and environment at EWEA. “The simplest way to do this is to remove surplus allowances from the market. The Commission now needs to propose measures to do this.”
Posted in Energy, News
Posted on 02 March 2012.
A new €104 billion plan for a pan-European electricity network would cost less than 1% of the consumers’ total electricity bill. The plan – drawn up by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) – would bring Europe a step closer to a pan-European grid.
The plan comes as MEPs and Member States debate the European Commission’s draft infrastructure package published in November 2011. The package proposes Eur9.1 billion for funding energy infrastructure projects considered ‘of common interest’ (PCIs) and aims to speed up lengthy grid permitting processes.
“ENTSO-E’s first official 10-year network development plan is a step towards a pan-European grid. But the relationship between this plan and the Commission’s infrastructure proposals is unclear,” points out Paul Wilczek, senior regulatory Affairs advisor to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). “ENTSO-E’s plan now includes Europe’s 2020 renewable energy targets in the scenario development, an important point that was missing in the previous ‘pilot’ plan.”
He adds: “This plan must now be taken as a blueprint for the future of Europe’s grids, but it is not yet clear whether the Commission will consider supporting projects not included in ENTSO-E’s plan. EWEA believes viable and useful projects should be supported even if they are not yet part of the latest ENTSO-E plan.”
ENTSO-E’s plan also finds:
* One in three planned grid investment projects are currently being delayed due to lengthy permitting procedures – further underscoring the need for faster permitting procedures as outlined in the Commission’s infrastructure package.
* Interconnection projects that integrate renewable energies could save the emission of 170 million tonnes of carbon – the equivalent to taking 86 million cars off the road in Europe.
Posted in Energy, News
Posted on 29 February 2012.
Pressure is mounting on the EU to raise the carbon price under the Emissions Trading System (ETS) – the EU’s main tool for reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions. The European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee has just voted by a significant majority in favour of withholding carbon allowances in the ETS – a move that would increase the carbon price if it were adopted.
The price of carbon has collapsed in recent years – mainly due to the financial crisis, which reduced industrial production and therefore emissions, flooding the carbon market with surplus emissions allowances. This has seriously impacted the effectiveness of the ETS.
The vote came as part of discussions on the Energy Efficiency Directive. The Parliament’s Environment Committee had already voted in favour of the move at the end of January.
“It is good to see two important Parliamentary committees recognise the impact the economic crisis has had on the effectiveness of the ETS, and propose solutions to fix it,” comments Remi Gruet, Senior Regulatory Affairs Advisor for Environment and Climate at the European Wind Energy Association. “The European Commission and Council must now support and implement measures to withhold carbon allowances so that the ETS can rapidly start reducing Europe’s emissions as it was designed to do.”
The recent European Commission paper on the impacts of moving beyond a 20% emissions reduction target shows that it is possible to withhold emissions allowances without harming the lower-income countries in the EU.
Posted in Emmissions, Energy, News
Posted on 07 February 2012.
In 2011, 9,616 MW of wind energy capacity was installed in the EU, making a total of 93,957 MW – enough to supply 6.3% of the EU’s electricity, according to figures just published by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). Representing 21.4% of new power capacity, wind energy installations in 2011 were very similar to the previous year’s 9,648 MW. The wind industry has had an average annual growth of 15.6% over the last 17 years (1995-2011).
“Despite the economic crisis gripping Europe, the wind industry is still installing solid levels of new capacity,” commented Justin Wilkes, policy director of EWEA. “But to achieve the EU’s long-term targets we need strong growth again in future years. It is critical to send positive signals to investors by European governments maintaining stable policies to support renewables and for the European Union to commit to put in place a binding renewable energy target for 2030.”
Growth in onshore installations in Germany and Sweden, and offshore in the UK – together with continuing strong performances from some emerging onshore markets such as Romania – offset a fall in installations in mature markets such as France and Spain. Overall, Germany remains the EU country with the largest installed capacity, followed by Spain, France, Italy and the UK.
Altogether, more renewable power capacity was installed during 2011 than any other year. Renewables accounted for 71.3% of new installations: 32,043 MW – up 37.7% on 2010 installations. Both fuel oil and nuclear power saw a drop last year, with more capacity decommissioned than installed.
Overall last year, the EU’s total installed power capacity increased by 35,468 MW net to 895,878 MW, with wind power increasing its share of installed capacity to 10.5%, and renewable capacity increasing its share to 31.1%.
Posted in Energy, Featured News
Posted on 13 January 2012.
The EU achieved its 2010 target of 21% of electricity consumption from renewable sources, according to latest analysis by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). In 2010 renewable energies produced between 665 Terrawatt hours (TWh) and 673 TWh, hitting the 21% target given consumption was around 3,115 TWh to 3,175 TWh. If renewable electricity production in the EU continued to grow at the same rate as it did from 2005 to 2010 it would account for 36.4% of electricity in 2020 and 51.6% in 2030.
“The renewable electricity targets set back in 2001 have been realistic as well as effective,” said Justin Wilkes, EWEA’s director of policy. “The targets have worked in achieving their purpose within the time foreseen. This success is why industry is calling for an ambitious 2030 target for renewables.”
He adds: “The growth achieved in the last five years has been outstanding and if continued would result in over half of the EU’s electricity coming from renewables by 2030. A long-term stable framework, underpinned by an ambitious 2030 renewable energy target, is clearly the proven way to ensure Europe meets its climate, competitiveness and energy security goals.”
The growth of renewables between 2005 and 2010 was largely carried by onshore wind. In future the renewables sector will benefit from significant growth in offshore wind and other technologies as they become more mature.
Posted in Energy, Featured News, News
Posted on 29 November 2011.
Over 141 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy capacity is built, under construction, consented, or planned in Europe – enough to power 130 million average EU households. These wind farms – representing 35 times more capacity than the just under 4 GW installed today – would provide 13.1% of Europe’s total electricity production.
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has published its latest report analysing all existing offshore wind power projects in 17 EU member states, mostly in north-western Europe. New offshore wind farms with a capacity of 5.6 GW are currently under construction in the UK, Germany and Belgium.
“There is huge developer interest in offshore wind energy across Europe,” comments Arthouros Zervos, President of EWEA. “Developers, governments and investors realise that offshore wind energy offers the growth and jobs that Europe desperately needs.”
169,000 jobs in the EU offshore wind energy sector are expected to be created by 2020, going up to 300,000 by 2030, according to the EWEA report. European companies are currently global leaders, with over 99% of the world’s installed offshore capacity in European waters.
Areas for growth in offshore wind energy include turbine and turbine component manufacturing as well as substructures, vessels, electrical infrastructure including high voltage subsea cables, and ports. However, the new report warns that if the offshore wind energy sector’s potential is to be fulfilled in Europe, it is imperative that sufficient levels of financing are brought in by investors. Also crucial are the financing and building of offshore power grids in the northern and Baltic seas, which would enable huge amounts of electricity to be transported to consumers.
For the industry itself, there is a risk of a high-voltage subsea cable shortage in the next few years which has to be addressed urgently, says the report, as well as a possible shortage of trained workers.”The offshore wind energy sector can replicate the success of the onshore wind technology development, which is now a mainstream source of power competitive with new coal and gas plants, and a major European industry,” says Arthouros Zervos. “However, to ensure this happens, EU decision-makers need to set ambitious renewable energy targets beyond 2020, invest more in research and develop offshore grids.”
Posted in Energy, Featured News, News
Posted on 10 November 2011.
European wind power production will meet a massive 31% of the emissions reduction required by the current EU climate target. According to a new report by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) by 2020, the EU wind industry will avoid 342 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 31% of the EU’s target of reducing emissions by 20%. If emissions avoided by other renewable electricity technologies are included, the equivalent of almost half (48%) of the EU’s target of reducing emissions by 20% is avoided.
The huge contribution of wind power shows it is possible for the EU to move from a 20% to a 30% emissions reduction target, according to the EWEA. If the EU was to move to a 30% target, wind energy could still provide the equivalent of 20% of the reduction. The report also analyses the impact of wind energy on the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) emission reduction targets and the international greenhouse gas reduction pledges.
The data backs up an earlier report from the EEA showing that both the crisis and renewables have been the main drivers for emissions reductions in recent years. It comes at an appropriate time, as the European Parliament is discussing the 2050 low carbon roadmap presented by the European Commission in February and is actively considering including a demand to increase the legally binding renewable energy target after 2020.
“An ambitious 2020 climate target is key to maintaining Europe’s leadership in the wind power industry in an environment of fast growing global competition from China, the US, South Korea and Japan,” says Remi Gruet, EWEA’s senior advisor on Climate and Environment. “It is clear that by deploying wind energy and other renewables the EU can move to a 30% greenhouse gas reduction target with ease.”
Posted in Emmissions, Energy, Featured News, News
Posted on 15 August 2011.
Wind energy in the EU will more than triple its power output by 2020 with Eur194 billion invested in European onshore and offshore wind farms during this decade, predicts the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). Electricity production from wind power is expected to increase from 182 Terawatt hours (TWh) or 5.5% of the total EU demand in 2010, to 581 TWh or 15.7% of the total demand in 2020.
By 2020 the electricity production from wind energy will be equivalent to the total electricity consumption of all households in France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the UK together.
By 2030 1,154 TWh (28% of total demand) would be produced by wind power, more than the EU’s predicted 241 million private households are expected to consume in 2030. Today, wind power produces electricity equivalent to the consumption of 50 million average EU households.
EWEA’s ‘Pure Power’ report shows that the 27 EU Member States will have very different increases in wind power capacity over the coming years. According to EWEA, wind power capacity in Ireland will increase fourfold and represent 52% of the country’s electricity demand by 2020. UK capacity is expected to grow by a factor of five to account for 19% of electricity demand by 2020.
Posted in Energy, Featured News, News
Posted on 28 July 2011.
Offshore wind energy capacity increased in the first half year of 2011, with a 4.5% rise in installations compared to the corresponding period of 2010. According to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), 101 new offshore wind turbines, with a total capacity of 348 Megawatt (MW), were connected to the power grids in the UK, Germany and Norway during the first six months of 2011.
Eleven offshore wind farms worth some Eur8.5 billion and with a total capacity of 2,844 MW are currently under construction in European waters. The size of the installed offshore wind turbines averaged 3.4 MW – up from an average of 2.9 MW during the first half of 2010.
“While I see several positive trends for the European offshore wind power industry, we are not home and dry yet. The sector is coming out of the financial crisis but is still facing a potential worsening of the general economic crisis. The number of banks providing capital for offshore wind farm investments is steadily growing, although there is a continued need for attracting an increasing number of large institutional investors to offshore wind farms – presently the largest construction projects going on in Europe,” says Christian Kjaer, chief executive of EWEA.
Several wind farms in Germany and the UK will reach financial close in 2011 and financial institutions will this year provide a record amount of financing to the sector of over Eur3 billion. Between three and five transactions are expected to close during the course of the year. Equity financing, including divestment of stakes in existing projects to initiate new ones, highlights new approaches to financing among developers and power companies following the financial crisis.
At the end of June 2011, there were 1,247 offshore wind turbines fully grid connected with a total capacity of 3,294 MW in 49 wind farms spread between nine European countries.
Posted in Energy, Featured News
Posted on 13 April 2011.
While UN climate negotiations show no sign of significant progress, calculations from the European Wind Energy Association show that wind energy is achieving over a quarter of the emissions reductions required under the current Kyoto agreement.
The recent UN climate negotiations in Bangkok “produced little more than the agenda for further negotiations,” according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).
“Discussions continue to focus around the legal form of a new treaty,” explains Remi Gruet, EWEA regulatory affairs officer, “ignoring the key issue of how the international community will achieve the CO2 emissions reductions needed to prevent catastrophic climate change.”
He continues: “An international agreement remains absolutely vital but it’s clear that while there’s an impasse in the negotiations, many countries around the globe are getting on with avoiding CO2 emissions by installing wind energy and other renewable energy sources.”
EWEA calculations show that at the end of 2010, wind energy across the world avoided 255 Mt of CO2, equivalent to 26% of the emissions reductions commitment of industrialised countries under the Kyoto Protocol. By 2020, wind power should avoid between 46% and 69% of the pledges made in the Cancun agreement, depending on whether pledges are met to the full or the minimum.
Posted in News
Posted on 05 April 2011.
The recent start-up of the grid interconnection between the UK and the Netherlands is a major step forward for a better interconnected electricity grid in Europe. The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) is a strong supporter of an integrated power grid in Europe and believes that the BritNed link, which has just gone live, is very significant.
“The Eur600 million investment for the 260 kilometres long High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable with a power capacity of 1000 Megawatt between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands will provide a substantial boost to electricity trade between these two market regions. This will ultimately serve for an optimised power system operation and smoothen out the variable output of wind power plants over a large geographical area,” explains Paul Wilczek, EWEA grids advisor. “Europe is still far from a truly integrated electricity market, but every step towards a single market helps the cost efficient integration of renewable electricity generation like wind power.”
Another recent development was the day-ahead market coupling of the regions of Central-Western Europe, including France, Germany, the Benelux countries and Scandinavia last November. “In addition we now need functioning intraday markets which are crucial for efficient integration of large amounts of wind energy and for cost-efficient system operation in general,” he adds.
Posted in News