Wednesday, 10 March 2021
The Brussels based wind lobbying association Wind Europe released their 2020 statistics and outlook report at the beginning of March 2021. The Norwegian wind power industry had a strong showing, despite a sluggish Covid-hit year.
Over all of Europe, added capacity was down about 6% in comparison to 2019. However, Norway added more than 1 500 MW onshore wind, which ranked them first in that category in 2020 and third in overall added capacity behind the Netherlands and Germany.
The three countries with the highest added offshore capacity in 2020 have developments associated with the North sea - the UK, Netherlands and Belgium. The countries accounted for more than 90% of Europe offshore wind capacity growth in 2020.
Germany accounts for approximately a quarter of the total wind capacity in Europe, but wind capacity growth in the nation has slowed in recent years. However, Wind Europe did note a slight up tick in onshore installations due to improvements in permitting rules, with red-tape being partially responsible for the recent slow growth.
Permitting issues were not specific to Germany however, the Wind Europe commentary on auctions and tenders for 2020 noted undersubscribed renewables auctions in Italy due to slow permitting processes.
In fact, in the 2021-2025 outlook Wind Europe have suggested that issues with permitting processes if not resolved may lead to a reduction of 25% of the additional capacity to be installed in this period in Europe.
Nevertheless, Germany is expected to be the dominant onshore wind installer within this 5 year period at 16 GW of additional capacity. A significant amount of this capacity is expected to come from repowering, where the older wind turbines are decommissioned and replaced with higher capacity models.
The UK is expected to be the largest offshore wind installer in the next five years, with 15 GW of additional capacity expected. The UK is expected to have the highest absolute growth in overall wind capacity at 18 GW.