The EU will not be able to meet its wind energy targets in 2030

WindEurope, the association of European employers in the wind energy sector, has presented its statistical yearbook. The organization ensures that Europe will install 18.3 GW of new wind capacity in 2023, thus reaching 272 GW in operation. The 27 EU countries were responsible for 16.2 gigawatts, a record, but only half of what they need to build to meet their 2030 climate and energy targets.

79% of new wind capacity built in Europe last year was onshore. The volume of new offshore installations is increasing and reached a record 3.8 GW during FY2023.

WindEurope estimates that 260 GW of new capacity will be installed in Europe between 2024 and 2030. The EU27 will account for about 200 GW, an average of 29 GW per year. However, to achieve its 2030 climate and energy targets, the EU needs to build an average of 33 GW per year. Therefore, the employers’ association estimates that the EU will be around 30 GW short of the 425 GW needed to meet the 42.5% renewable energy target.

Germany built the most new capacity last year, thanks to its rapid expansion of onshore wind power. After that, the Netherlands built as much as possible thanks to its record of new offshore wind installations. Sweden comes in third place, with 1.9 gigawatts of new installed capacity, all onshore.

New EU permitting rules have already increased the size of new wind farms. Germany and Spain have allowed 70% more onshore wind capacity in 2023 than in 2022.

The European Union must install 200 gigawatts of new wind capacity between 2024 and 2030, an average of 29 gigawatts per year. To achieve its 2030 climate and energy targets, the EU needs to build an average of 33 GW per year.

Denmark and Ireland have the highest proportion of wind energy in their electricity mix, at 56% and 36% respectively. Wind energy covered at least 20% of electricity demand in eight countries: Germany (31%), the United Kingdom (29%), the Netherlands (27%), Spain (27%), Sweden (26%), Portugal ( 26%). Lithuania (21%) and Greece (20%).

The annual construction of offshore wind power is expected to increase sharply towards the end of the decade. The organization led by Giles Dixon indicates that the 2024-2030 installations will take the EU to 393 GW in 2030 while the target is 425 GW. However, the employers’ association believes that installed wind capacity in Europe will exceed 500 GW in the same period.

The WindEurope report also reveals that Europe retired 736 MW of wind power in 2023. At the same time, it brought 1.4 GW of recommissioned capacity into service. The total new capacity added, with the addition of all new facilities, was 17.6 gigawatts.

In the period 2024-2030, about 27 gigawatts will be dismantled. Of these, 16 GW will be resupplied until reaching 28 GW of restarted capacity. The remaining 11 gigawatts will be completely decommissioned and removed from the system.

Repowering triples the output of wind farms on average, while reducing the number of turbines by 25%.

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(Tags for translation) Energy

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