EWEA Annual Report 2012
United in tough times
In 2012, Europe’s wind energy industry was plunged into a crisis of regulatory uncertainty as governments, seeing renewables as an easy target for austerity measures, slashed or changed their support. Despite this, 2012 marked a historic milestone: reaching 100 GW of wind power capacity in the EU, meeting the power needs of 57 million households, equivalent to the output of 39 nuclear power plants – a remarkable success which was achieved during a period of extraordinary growth founded on firm political support.
In 2012, EWEA launched 3 major new reports. ‘Green Growth: The impact of wind energy on jobs and the economy’ examined the impact of wind energy on jobs and the economy in the EU. The wind energy industry increased its contribution to the EU’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 33% between 2007 and 2010. In 2010, the industry’s growth was twice that of the EU’s GDP overall, with the sector contributing €32 billion to an EU economy in slowdown.
The EU-funded SEANERGY 2020 project, in which EWEA was a partner, showed the benefits for Member States of cooperation on maritime spatial planning, and recommended the European Commission provide a Framework Directive. The report ‘SEAENERGY: Delivering offshore electricity to the EU’ was launched in July 2012.
‘Creating the Internal Energy Market in Europe’, launched in September 2012, was a report on EU electricity market rules, which must reflect the energy generation mix of the future and help usher in a flexible power system with a large-scale uptake of wind power and other renewable energy sources.