2021 will be a record year in wind installations

Madrid / 3 March 2021

Wind energy continues to drive the energy revolution. In the year 2020, 16% of European electricity consumption came from wind energy, and capacity is expanding every year. The last WindEurope's report shows the resilience of the sector in a challenging year, but also the need for rapid expansion to reach carbon neutrality in Europe.
Corporate Affairs Department
In the last year, 14.7 GW have been installed, 6% less than the previous year, meaning that overall, Europe has installed a total of 220 GW. 69% of the installations in Europe were in 7 countries: the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Spain, France, Turkey and Sweden. Onshore wind accounted for 80% of new installations, with a total of 11.8 GW. Offshore wind continues to gain ground in Europe with a strong pace of installations, accounting for 20% of new installations , with 2.9 GW of new capacity connected to the grid in 2020.
In 2020, 16% of European electricity consumption came from wind energy
The report highlights the progression and improvement of Northern European countries in offshore, among which the Netherlands stands out as the country that has installed the most wind power in 2020, with 1.8 GW, thanks to its commitment to offshore installations, which accounted for 75% of the total. This was followed by Belgium, which had a record year for offshore installations. The installations carried out by the UK, Germany and Portugal in this type of energy cannot be overlooked either.
What can we expect for 2021?
According to WindEurope 2021 is likely to become a record year for installations, both for onshore and offshore wind. The new wind facilities is expected to account for 19.5 GW.The main reason behind this expected significant increase is the high quantity of projects set to be delivered this year due to delays from the pandemic.
2021 is expected to see a record year in Offshore installations, with 3.7GW set to be installed over the course of the year. More than half will take place in the UK, with 2 GW, and the rest will be completed in the Netherlands, Denmark, and France.
Sweden could become the largest market for new installations in 2021 with 2.9 GW. Germany could be the third largest market in 2021 with 2 GW of installations, all of it coming from onshore wind. In France, the majority of installations could come from onshore wind with 1.5 GW.

Looking ahead to 2025
Despite these promising figures, there is still a long way to go to address the climate challenge and Governements need to act now.
Europe is expected to build 105 GW new wind farms over the next 5 years, over 70% of which will be onshore. This outlook –based on Governments commitments- is ambitious but still not sufficient to deliver on the Green Deal targets and on the target of climate neutrality.
2021 is expected to see a record year in Offshore installations
The EU27 are supposed to deliver 15 GW per annum of new wind between 2021 and 2025, yet they need to build 18 GW per year over 2021-30 to deliver the existing 2030 EU renewables target and 27 GW per year to deliver the higher target set with the new 55% climate goal.

To reach those targets Governments need to take immediate action. The short-term reaction should be the base for long-term achievements. In this sense, the figures show the importance of simplifying permitting rules and procedures to facilitate the development of new wind projects. According to data coming from WindEurope right now, the process to get new permissions is lengthy and developers are deterred from pursuing new projects because of the risks and costs involved. Another important issue to address is the ageing of wind farms. In Europe, in the next five years, 38 GW of wind farms will reach 20 years of operation and a decision will be required on their future: repowering, life-time extension or full decommissioning.
Between 2021 and 2025, Europe will install 29 GW of offshore wind
It is predicted that between 2021 and 2025, Europe will install 29 GW of offshore wind.
The UK will be Europe’s largest wind market due to strong offshore figures over the next five years, with 15 GW of new installations expected . Netherlands will also see large offshore installations with 4.4 GW, followed by Germany and France, both of which are expected to install 3GW of offshore wind energy. Denmark will install 1.9 GW and Poland 0.7 GW. Norway, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Sweden will see more than 100 MW of offshore installations completed over the next five years.
Between 2021 and 2025 European onshore installations could reach 76 GW, averaging about 15 GW per year.
Germany could continue leading in onshore installations with 13 GW set to be installed over the next five years. This will be followed by France with 8.8 GW, Sweden with 7 GW, Spain with 5.7 GW and Poland with 5 GW.

Reaching the targets set for 2050 is both a major challenge for European Governments and a great opportunity for the wind energy sector. Momentum to unlock the full potential of wind is essential now.


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