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Wind energy basics

In 2011, Europe was the global leader in offshore wind energy with more than 90% of the world’s installed capacity. Around a quarter of Europe’s wind energy could be produced offshore in 2020, EWEA estimates.

From 2007 – 2010, jobs in wind energy grew by nearly 30% while EU unemployment rose by 9.6%. In 2010, 238,000 people were employed in wind energy. That number should increase to 520,000 by 2020 - a 200% rise in ten years.

In 2012, Europe’s installed wind power capacity reached 100 GW. This can power over 57 million households each year and meet around 7% of the EU’s electricity demand or the total electricity consumption of the inhabitants Sweden, Ireland, Slovenia and Slovakia combined.

The wind energy sector contributed €32 billion to EU GDP in 2010. At 0.26%, it contributed more value to EU GDP than the entire European footwear industry, an increase of 33% since 2007 (Source: EWEA).

An offshore wind turbine with a capacity of 2.5-3 MW can produce more than 6 million kWh in a year - enough to supply 1,500 average EU households with electricity (Source: EWEA).

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