Recent regulatory and economic developments in the EU have significantly changed the wind energy perspective for the next 15 years. In light of uncertain governance towards achieving EU climate and energy binding targets, EWEA updated the European wind energy industry’s vision to 2030.
A review of system needs, technology options, economic benefits and suitable market mechanisms
REserviceS was the first project to investigate wind and solar based grid support services at EU level. It provides technical and economic recommendations for the design of a European market for grid support services, as well as for future Network Codes within the Third Liberalisation Package.
EWEA's previous wind energy scenarios were published in 2009 ("Pure Power 2") following the adoption of the EU's Renewable Energy Directive. They were subsequently re-published in 2011 ("Pure Power 3"). The scenarios looked at both annual and cumulative installations and included a country breakdown for 2020, but not for intermediate years. The headline figure was 230 GW (of which 40 GW offshore) producing 581 TWh of electricity, meeting 15.7% of electricity consumption. EU electricity consumption for 2020 was projected to be 3,689.5 TWh.
Building a stable future
EWEA saw some significant developments in 2013 with Thomas Becker becoming its new CEO, and Andrew Garrad the new President. The association developed a new strategy in order to reflect the changing nature and situation of the European wind industry, and to turn EWEA into a stronger industry association. Read the 2013 Annual Report to find out more about EWEA’s new strategic framework, its services to members and the work undertaken to make it one of the most influential industry associations in Brussels.
Water is a precondition for life, an indispensable resource for the economy, and it plays a fundamental role for the climate. Each EU citizen consumes 4,815 litres of water per day on average, including direct water use (household consumption) and indirect water use (water required to produce industrial and agricultural products) (Vanham & Bidoglio, 2013). All these uses include energy production.
In 2013 the wind energy sector reached 117 GW of installed capacity in Europe, and would, in a normal wind year, produce 257 TWh of electricity, enough to cover 8% of the EU’s electricity consumption.
During 2011 Europe spent €406 billion (bn) on importing fossil fuels rising to €545 bn in 2012. This is around three times more than the cost of the Greek bailout up to 2013. Europe imports over half its energy in the form of fossil fuels, resulting in exposure to volatile fossil fuel prices.
Financing offshore wind farms
The European offshore wind energy industry needs to attract between €90 billion and €123 billion by 2020 to meet its deployment target of 40 GW.
TWENTIES is a grids project that looks into how to operate grid systems with large amounts of wind and other renewables. It is the largest renewable energy project ever funded by the EU.
The aim of the TWENTIES project is to advance the development and deployment of new technologies which facilitate the widespread integration of more onshore and offshore wind power into the European electricity system by 2020 and beyond.
The next steps for EU climate and energy policy
The EU must decide as soon as possible on an energy and climate policy framework for 2030. This is so investors continue to invest, wind energy continues to grow and deliver all its benefits, and the EU can meet its greenhouse gas reduction commitments of 80-95% by 2050 in the most cost-efficient way.