Wind energy provides 8% of Europe's electricity

Wind energy provides 8% of Europe’s electricity

EU's grid connected cumulative capacity in 2014 reached 129 GW, meeting 8% of European electricity demand, equivalent to the combined annual consumption of Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Ireland. According to a JRC report, the impressive growth of the industry will allow at least 12% electricity share by 2020, a significant contribution to the goal of the European energy and climate package of 20% share of energy from renewable sources.

The 2014 JRC wind status report presents the technology, market and economics of the wind sector with a focus on the EU. Wind power is the which has seen the widest and most successful deployment over the last two decades, increasing the global cumulative capacity from 3 GW to 370 GW. Last year represented an annual record with 52.8 GW of wind turbines capacity installed worldwide, a 48% increase compared to 2013 and 17% over the 2012 record of 45.2GW.

With 23.2 GW of new installations and a market share of 44%, China is well ahead of EU's member states which together installed 13.05 GW. The EU however still leads in cumulative capacity and its 129 GW onshore and offshore wind installations, allowed six countries – Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Romania and Germany – to generate between 10 and 40 % of their electricity from .

European turbine manufacturers accounted for 78% of the non-China world market in 2014. In a context of high competition and diminishing turbine prices, manufacturers managed to improve their balance sheet thanks to better cost management and reduced raw materials costs. The cost of generating continues its downward trend, highly favoured by a reduction in the cost of project financing.

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Provided by Joint Research Centre (JRC)
Citation: Wind energy provides 8% of Europe's electricity (2015, July 24) retrieved 22 October 2019 from
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Jul 24, 2015
Visual impacts from offshore wind farms, natural seascape changed, dreadful.

Jul 24, 2015
Visual impacts from offshore wind farms, natural seascape changed

O, Woe...your personal sense of asethetics is now what puts you off wind energy? Thats# not even grasping at straws anymore. That's just totally insane.

Jul 24, 2015
8% is an impressive proportion, considering that the whole effort has been going on for only about 15 years or so. On the scale of billions, even 1% is actually a huge accomplishment.

On one hand, it's too much and too soon, but on the other it is a demonstration that we can build the capacity for a renewable future in a relatively short timeframe.Getting from 1% to 10% scale means there's ten times less to accomplish.

This is a good omen at least, for the time when we gain the capability to transform into a truly sustainable economy.

Jul 24, 2015

On the negative side, we must remember that electricity is only about a fifth of the total energy demand in Europe, so the real contribution is still on the 1-2% scale.

Jul 25, 2015
8% is an impressive proportion, considering that the whole effort has been going on for only about 15 years or so.

You mean as opposed to nuclear ...which took 30 years and got 10 times that amount of subsidies?

From here:
As a percentage of inflation-adjusted federal spending, nuclear subsidies accounted for more than 1% of the federal budget over their first 15 years, and oil and gas subsidies made up half a percent of the total budget, while renewables have constituted only about a tenth of a percent"

So we're dealing with a disparity of 1:5 for for oil and 1:10 for nuclear. And Renewables are already poised to outsrip nuclear in the near future. (Note that this is even 'all renewables' and not just wind as mentioned in the article )

Non-renewables really are inefficient and costly when you look at that.

Jul 27, 2015
From here:

Unfortunately, you're quoting US figures, which does not apply to European nuclear vs. renewable subsidies for the simple fact of being on the wrong continent.

You're also forgetting that the subsidies in question are federal subsidies - renewable energy also recieves state-level incentives and subsidies.

And on the final point, the "subdsidies" in question are most likely making the age-old fallacy of equating loan guarantees and insurance backing with direct energy subsidies, when in reality neither of the former are actually paid until something happens.

Meanwhile, the nuclear industry has also been taxed to recoup subsidy and set up funds for waste disposal - money which has unfortunately been squandered since.

Jul 27, 2015
Non-renewables really are inefficient and costly when you look at that.

It's rather disingenuous to compare subsidies and investments paid literally a hundred years ago, to the technology and economy of today.

You might as well complain that the Roman Empire's use of slaves was inefficient and costly compared to modern wind turbines. True - but hardly relevant - unless you claim with your 20/20 hindsight that they should have built wind turbines instead.

Jul 27, 2015
The fact of the matter is that in aggregate, non-renewable fuels have recieved more subsidies than renewables over the years, but per unit energy the opposite is true.

Per unit energy, the renewables cost 25 times more:

Meanwhile, the majority of fossil fuel subsidies that occur in the world today are poor non-western nations subsidizing the cost of energy to their citizens:

We're talking of a completely different type of subsidy - consumer subsidy - akin to food stamps - rather than producer subsidy - like the EEG surcharge in Germany.

The question with renewable is, can you ever stop paying the subsidies? Currently, wind and solar power cannot work without subsidies because their intermittency and peaking nature collapses the market rate when they turn on, so the answer remains: no.

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