Europe is not building enough wind farms to deliver the EU’s climate and energy goals, WindEurope’s CEO said in the association’s report on Thursday.
CEO Giles Dickson said although wind power now constitutes 16% of Europe’s electricity, realizing 220 GW of wind capacity, the continent is not building enough new wind farms to deliver the EU’s climate and energy goals because of permitting problems.
“Permitting rules and procedures are too complex. There are not enough people working in the permitting authorities to process permit applications,” he said.
He urged that governments address this or otherwise the Green Deal is at risk.
Europe’s new wind capacity dropped 6% year-on-year to 14.7 gigawatts in 2020 and 19% less than WindEurope’s expectation pre-COVID-19, the Wind Energy in Europe 2020 Statistics and the Outlook for 2021-2025 report showed.
It said that the EU's 27 member countries installed 10.5 GW of which 80% was onshore.
According to WindEurope, Europe needs to build 18 GW per year up to 2030 to deliver the existing 2030 EU renewables target, and 27 GW per year to deliver the higher target with the 55% climate target.
The association expects Europe to build 105 GW of new wind farms over the next 5 years, over 70% of which will be onshore. However, the EU27 member countries are set to build only 15 GW per year of new wind between 2021 and 2025.
The Netherlands installed the most wind capacity in 2020, most of which was offshore. Norway built the most onshore wind, and Spain and France were not far behind, the report said.
By Gulsen Cagatay