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Energy

EU wind energy

The EU is committed to remaining the global leader in renewables. Wind power has played an important part in this success and will be key to achieve the EU’s renewable energy targets and make the EU carbon neutral by 2050.

EU Wind Power Package

Wind energy manufacturing, together with other competitive net-zero industries, supports the fast transition to climate neutrality, while creating growth and jobs for the EU.

The Commission presented 2 wind power initiatives on 24 October 2023, referred to as a package and aiming to accelerate wind energy manufacturing and deployment in Europe.

European Wind Power Action Plan

Following up on 2 of the Action Plan measures, the vast majority of EU countries, together with many leading industry representatives, signed a European Wind Charter on 19 December 2023 in which they agreed to a set of voluntary commitments to support the development of Europe’s wind sector. At the same occasion, 21 EU countries submitted their concrete pledges on wind energy deployment volumes for at least the period 2024-2026. The pledges show their commitment to accelerate and ramp-up the deployment of wind in the EU, both onshore and offshore. 

Renewables auctions platform 

As the Action Plan states that the EU should double the share of renewables in its energy consumption by 2030, it is critical to provide the renewable energy industry with stable and long-term investment signals. 

Under the Renewable Energy Directive, EU countries have an obligation to publish a long-term schedule on the expected allocation of support for renewables, covering at least the following 5 years. To enhance visibility and predictability for the whole value chain, and avoid a dispersion of the information across multiple national tools, the Commission proposed to set up an EU-wide public platform. 

Communication on achieving the EU’s offshore wind ambitions

The Commission communication (COM/2023/668) confirms the need to accelerate investment in offshore wind, as well as ocean energies.

With the cumulative offshore installed capacity amounting to 16.3 GW, new offshore installations must increase to almost 12 GW per year on average to reach EU countries’ commitments. That is 10 times more than the 1.2 GW installed in 2022.

The communication identifies 6 areas where progress would help speeding up the roll out of offshore capacity

  • strengthening grid infrastructure and regional cooperation
  • accelerating permitting
  • ensuring integrated maritime spatial planning
  • strengthening resilience of infrastructure
  • sustaining research and innovation to supporting offshore renewable energy
  • developing supply chains and skills

Wind power facts

Wind is a clean, free and abundant energy source used to generate electricity. A wind farm is a group of wind turbines that can cover several square kilometres of land or sea to harness either onshore or offshore wind.

Continued improvements in manufacturing and turbine design combined with improved capacity factors (more MWh of electricity generated per MW of wind turbines installed; for example, thanks to more performant turbines and/or better localisation) have driven down the costs of wind power and reaffirmed its position as a key driver of the clean energy transition.

According to Eurostat, wind accounted for over one-third (37.5%) of the total electricity generated from renewable sources in the EU in 2022. The below key figures, are based on data from Eurostat and WindEurope and show a steady increase in EU’s wind generation capacity, but it is not enough to meet the energy and climate targets by 2030. Therefore, the EU and the wind industry have committed to ramp up both onshore and offshore wind in the coming years.

EU wind generation capacity

188 GW
2021
204 GW
2022
221 GW
2023

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