Wind energy's frequently asked questions (FAQ)

The basics

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fold faq

Is wind power good for the economy?

Yes! Wind energy contributed €32 billion to the EU economy in 2010 and as of 2012, 250,000 people in Europe had a job linked to wind energy - by 2020, the sector will have generated 520,000 jobs.

Between 2001 and 2010 the wind energy sector increased its contribution to GDP by 33%, ever as overall GDP growth slowed. Between 2001 and 2010, jobs in wind energy went up by 30% while EU unemployment rose by 9.6%.

The EU wind energy sector was a net exporter of € 5.7 billion worth of products and services in 2010. The EU accounted for 37.5% of the global wind energy market in 2012.

Wind energy makes Europe less dependent on fuel imports at unpredictable prices - in 2012, wind power production in Europe avoided fuel costs of €9.6 billion. This will rise to €22 -27 billion in 2020 and €47-51 billion in 2030.

Wind-generated power comes at a zero fuel cost and zero CO2 cost, unlike most traditional energy sources. Wind power can also lower electricity prices and bring more competition to the market.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Is electricity from the wind more expensive than fossil fuels?

Find out for yourself using EWEA’s electricity cost calculator, which includes the risk of changing fuel and carbon prices.

The calculator shows that in 2010, onshore wind cost €64.9 per Megawatt hour (MWh): less than coal at €67.6. By 2020 the gap should be even wider – €80.3 for coal and €57.41 for wind.

Nuclear is considerably more expensive than wind energy. ‘In liberalised energy markets, building nuclear power plants is no longer a commercially feasible option: they are simply too expensive”, wrote The Economist in March 2012.

Because the fuel for wind power production does not have a cost, the cost can be predicted with great certainty, unlike the fluctuations in the price of oil, gas and coal. The increase in the oil price over the past few years from $20 to over $100 has added $45 billion to the EU’s annual gas import bill.

The more wind power Europe produces, the less reliant it is on fossil fuels at unpredictable prices.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Is wind power competitive?

Yes, onshore wind power is competitive once all the costs that affect traditional energy sources - like fuel and CO2 costs, and the effects on environment and health – are factored in.

Taking CO2 costs alone - if a cost of €30 per tonne of CO2 emitted was applied to power produced, onshore wind energy would be the cheapest source of new power generation in Europe.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

What does the ETS mean for wind energy and how will it benefit consumers?

Under the Emission Trading System (ETS) 10 000 large CO2 emitters – power and heat producers, oil refineries, steel manufacturers, cement manufacturers, glass manufacturers, bricks and ceramics, and the paper industry -  are able to buy and sell permits to emit CO2.

The ETS works by setting a CO2 cap, or a CO2 allowance, on how much the big polluters can emit. Companies that exceed their CO2 allowance are either fined or allowed to buy unused allowances from greener companies. Buying allowances (at an auction) is cheaper than the fine imposed on companies that exceed their CO2 limit, thereby creating an incentive for companies to reduce their CO2 by investing in green technologies like wind power to reduce their own CO2 emissions and create revenue from selling CO2 allowances.

One MWh of electricity produced by coal emits about a tonne of CO2, one MWh of electricity produced by gas emits about half a tonne of CO2, whereas wind-powered electricity emits no CO2. If gas and coal producers have to pay for their CO2 emissions, wind power becomes comparatively cheaper since its CO2 costs are zero. The zero-cost of CO2, in addition to the savings from the zero-fuel costs involved in producing wind power, means lower electricity prices for consumers since the wind-powered electricity companies will pass the savings on to the consumer. Once this happens on a wide scale, the polluting power technologies will be pushed out of the electricity market as they become comparatively too expensive compared to wind.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

What is a feed-in tariff?

Electricity from renewable energy sources is supported by EU governments in different ways, known as “support mechanisms’”. The most common support mechanism for electricity from renewable energy sources is the feed-in tariff (green electricity quotas in combination with tradable green certificates are also used in countries such as Belgium, Sweden, and Romania).

Under a feed-in tariff, electricity utilities must buy renewable electricity at a price that reflects what it cost to generate it. Under this system, the renewable electricity is dispatched in priority to the grid and producers generally sign long-term contracts (12-25 years) for the energy produced. These instruments allow renewables to be developed, and investors to get a reasonable return on renewable energy investments.

From 2010, feed-in tariffs were in place in Austria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Switzerland.

Certain countries (Denmark, Spain) use a feed-in premium. This is where green electricity producers get the market price plus a fixed premium. This system, which exposes green electricity producers to market dynamics, is well adapted to countries with a large penetration of wind power. Germany gives green electricity producers the possibility to choose between a feed-in tariff and a feed-in premium.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Does the wind industry depend on subsidies?

Although electricity produced by wind is supported by governments, oil, gas, coal and nuclear all receive subsidies, and, despite having been subsidised for more than 50 years, continue to get substantially more than wind.

The International Energy Agency’s 2011 World Energy Outlook shows that in 2010, renewables got just $1 for every $6-7 given by governments to fossil fuels.

“Fossil fuels [are] still receiving four times the level of subsidies [as renewable energy]”, European Commission said in 2011 (in the Communication: “Renewable Energy: Progressing towards the 2020 target”).

The IEA goes on to forecast that government support for renewables will go up to $250 billion in 2035. That is still – a quarter of a century in the future – less than two-thirds of the sum being doled out to fossil fuels today. The UK has now set aside £54bn for decommissioning its nuclear power stations – enough to pay for wind turbines to produce 40% of UK’s power demand.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Does wind energy reduce fossil fuel imports?

According to the European Council in 2011, the EU imports 54% of its energy and this is set to increase to 70% by 2030. Europe is dependent on countries such as Russia, Algeria and Colombia for oil, gas and coal.

In 2010 each person in the EU paid €706 to countries like Russia, Algeria and Colombia to import oil, gas and coal.

Using an indigenous source of energy such as the wind helps the EU be more self-reliant, providing its own power. In 2012 avoided fuel costs from wind power production were €9.6 bn. This will rise to €22 -27 billion in 2020 and €47-51 billion in 2030.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Does wind energy create jobs?

In 2012, around 249,000 people were directly and indirectly employed by the European wind energy sector – a significant increase from the 182,628 employed in 2007.

Jobs range from manufacturing to services and development.

By 2020, more than 520,000 people will be employed by wind energy. By 2030, that will be up to 795,000.

The European wind industry has grown rapidly: nearly 50,000 additional trained staff will be needed by the industry by 2030. A recent report shows that the European wind industry can play a key role in combatting unemployment.

Category: FAQ topic 4

Electricity

Show all / Hide all

fold faq

Is wind power good for the economy?

Yes! Wind energy contributed €32 billion to the EU economy in 2010 and as of 2012, 250,000 people in Europe had a job linked to wind energy - by 2020, the sector will have generated 520,000 jobs.

Between 2001 and 2010 the wind energy sector increased its contribution to GDP by 33%, ever as overall GDP growth slowed. Between 2001 and 2010, jobs in wind energy went up by 30% while EU unemployment rose by 9.6%.

The EU wind energy sector was a net exporter of € 5.7 billion worth of products and services in 2010. The EU accounted for 37.5% of the global wind energy market in 2012.

Wind energy makes Europe less dependent on fuel imports at unpredictable prices - in 2012, wind power production in Europe avoided fuel costs of €9.6 billion. This will rise to €22 -27 billion in 2020 and €47-51 billion in 2030.

Wind-generated power comes at a zero fuel cost and zero CO2 cost, unlike most traditional energy sources. Wind power can also lower electricity prices and bring more competition to the market.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Is electricity from the wind more expensive than fossil fuels?

Find out for yourself using EWEA’s electricity cost calculator, which includes the risk of changing fuel and carbon prices.

The calculator shows that in 2010, onshore wind cost €64.9 per Megawatt hour (MWh): less than coal at €67.6. By 2020 the gap should be even wider – €80.3 for coal and €57.41 for wind.

Nuclear is considerably more expensive than wind energy. ‘In liberalised energy markets, building nuclear power plants is no longer a commercially feasible option: they are simply too expensive”, wrote The Economist in March 2012.

Because the fuel for wind power production does not have a cost, the cost can be predicted with great certainty, unlike the fluctuations in the price of oil, gas and coal. The increase in the oil price over the past few years from $20 to over $100 has added $45 billion to the EU’s annual gas import bill.

The more wind power Europe produces, the less reliant it is on fossil fuels at unpredictable prices.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Is wind power competitive?

Yes, onshore wind power is competitive once all the costs that affect traditional energy sources - like fuel and CO2 costs, and the effects on environment and health – are factored in.

Taking CO2 costs alone - if a cost of €30 per tonne of CO2 emitted was applied to power produced, onshore wind energy would be the cheapest source of new power generation in Europe.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

What does the ETS mean for wind energy and how will it benefit consumers?

Under the Emission Trading System (ETS) 10 000 large CO2 emitters – power and heat producers, oil refineries, steel manufacturers, cement manufacturers, glass manufacturers, bricks and ceramics, and the paper industry -  are able to buy and sell permits to emit CO2.

The ETS works by setting a CO2 cap, or a CO2 allowance, on how much the big polluters can emit. Companies that exceed their CO2 allowance are either fined or allowed to buy unused allowances from greener companies. Buying allowances (at an auction) is cheaper than the fine imposed on companies that exceed their CO2 limit, thereby creating an incentive for companies to reduce their CO2 by investing in green technologies like wind power to reduce their own CO2 emissions and create revenue from selling CO2 allowances.

One MWh of electricity produced by coal emits about a tonne of CO2, one MWh of electricity produced by gas emits about half a tonne of CO2, whereas wind-powered electricity emits no CO2. If gas and coal producers have to pay for their CO2 emissions, wind power becomes comparatively cheaper since its CO2 costs are zero. The zero-cost of CO2, in addition to the savings from the zero-fuel costs involved in producing wind power, means lower electricity prices for consumers since the wind-powered electricity companies will pass the savings on to the consumer. Once this happens on a wide scale, the polluting power technologies will be pushed out of the electricity market as they become comparatively too expensive compared to wind.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

What is a feed-in tariff?

Electricity from renewable energy sources is supported by EU governments in different ways, known as “support mechanisms’”. The most common support mechanism for electricity from renewable energy sources is the feed-in tariff (green electricity quotas in combination with tradable green certificates are also used in countries such as Belgium, Sweden, and Romania).

Under a feed-in tariff, electricity utilities must buy renewable electricity at a price that reflects what it cost to generate it. Under this system, the renewable electricity is dispatched in priority to the grid and producers generally sign long-term contracts (12-25 years) for the energy produced. These instruments allow renewables to be developed, and investors to get a reasonable return on renewable energy investments.

From 2010, feed-in tariffs were in place in Austria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Switzerland.

Certain countries (Denmark, Spain) use a feed-in premium. This is where green electricity producers get the market price plus a fixed premium. This system, which exposes green electricity producers to market dynamics, is well adapted to countries with a large penetration of wind power. Germany gives green electricity producers the possibility to choose between a feed-in tariff and a feed-in premium.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Does the wind industry depend on subsidies?

Although electricity produced by wind is supported by governments, oil, gas, coal and nuclear all receive subsidies, and, despite having been subsidised for more than 50 years, continue to get substantially more than wind.

The International Energy Agency’s 2011 World Energy Outlook shows that in 2010, renewables got just $1 for every $6-7 given by governments to fossil fuels.

“Fossil fuels [are] still receiving four times the level of subsidies [as renewable energy]”, European Commission said in 2011 (in the Communication: “Renewable Energy: Progressing towards the 2020 target”).

The IEA goes on to forecast that government support for renewables will go up to $250 billion in 2035. That is still – a quarter of a century in the future – less than two-thirds of the sum being doled out to fossil fuels today. The UK has now set aside £54bn for decommissioning its nuclear power stations – enough to pay for wind turbines to produce 40% of UK’s power demand.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Does wind energy reduce fossil fuel imports?

According to the European Council in 2011, the EU imports 54% of its energy and this is set to increase to 70% by 2030. Europe is dependent on countries such as Russia, Algeria and Colombia for oil, gas and coal.

In 2010 each person in the EU paid €706 to countries like Russia, Algeria and Colombia to import oil, gas and coal.

Using an indigenous source of energy such as the wind helps the EU be more self-reliant, providing its own power. In 2012 avoided fuel costs from wind power production were €9.6 bn. This will rise to €22 -27 billion in 2020 and €47-51 billion in 2030.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Does wind energy create jobs?

In 2012, around 249,000 people were directly and indirectly employed by the European wind energy sector – a significant increase from the 182,628 employed in 2007.

Jobs range from manufacturing to services and development.

By 2020, more than 520,000 people will be employed by wind energy. By 2030, that will be up to 795,000.

The European wind industry has grown rapidly: nearly 50,000 additional trained staff will be needed by the industry by 2030. A recent report shows that the European wind industry can play a key role in combatting unemployment.

Category: FAQ topic 4

Environment

Show all / Hide all

fold faq

Is wind power good for the economy?

Yes! Wind energy contributed €32 billion to the EU economy in 2010 and as of 2012, 250,000 people in Europe had a job linked to wind energy - by 2020, the sector will have generated 520,000 jobs.

Between 2001 and 2010 the wind energy sector increased its contribution to GDP by 33%, ever as overall GDP growth slowed. Between 2001 and 2010, jobs in wind energy went up by 30% while EU unemployment rose by 9.6%.

The EU wind energy sector was a net exporter of € 5.7 billion worth of products and services in 2010. The EU accounted for 37.5% of the global wind energy market in 2012.

Wind energy makes Europe less dependent on fuel imports at unpredictable prices - in 2012, wind power production in Europe avoided fuel costs of €9.6 billion. This will rise to €22 -27 billion in 2020 and €47-51 billion in 2030.

Wind-generated power comes at a zero fuel cost and zero CO2 cost, unlike most traditional energy sources. Wind power can also lower electricity prices and bring more competition to the market.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Is electricity from the wind more expensive than fossil fuels?

Find out for yourself using EWEA’s electricity cost calculator, which includes the risk of changing fuel and carbon prices.

The calculator shows that in 2010, onshore wind cost €64.9 per Megawatt hour (MWh): less than coal at €67.6. By 2020 the gap should be even wider – €80.3 for coal and €57.41 for wind.

Nuclear is considerably more expensive than wind energy. ‘In liberalised energy markets, building nuclear power plants is no longer a commercially feasible option: they are simply too expensive”, wrote The Economist in March 2012.

Because the fuel for wind power production does not have a cost, the cost can be predicted with great certainty, unlike the fluctuations in the price of oil, gas and coal. The increase in the oil price over the past few years from $20 to over $100 has added $45 billion to the EU’s annual gas import bill.

The more wind power Europe produces, the less reliant it is on fossil fuels at unpredictable prices.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Is wind power competitive?

Yes, onshore wind power is competitive once all the costs that affect traditional energy sources - like fuel and CO2 costs, and the effects on environment and health – are factored in.

Taking CO2 costs alone - if a cost of €30 per tonne of CO2 emitted was applied to power produced, onshore wind energy would be the cheapest source of new power generation in Europe.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

What does the ETS mean for wind energy and how will it benefit consumers?

Under the Emission Trading System (ETS) 10 000 large CO2 emitters – power and heat producers, oil refineries, steel manufacturers, cement manufacturers, glass manufacturers, bricks and ceramics, and the paper industry -  are able to buy and sell permits to emit CO2.

The ETS works by setting a CO2 cap, or a CO2 allowance, on how much the big polluters can emit. Companies that exceed their CO2 allowance are either fined or allowed to buy unused allowances from greener companies. Buying allowances (at an auction) is cheaper than the fine imposed on companies that exceed their CO2 limit, thereby creating an incentive for companies to reduce their CO2 by investing in green technologies like wind power to reduce their own CO2 emissions and create revenue from selling CO2 allowances.

One MWh of electricity produced by coal emits about a tonne of CO2, one MWh of electricity produced by gas emits about half a tonne of CO2, whereas wind-powered electricity emits no CO2. If gas and coal producers have to pay for their CO2 emissions, wind power becomes comparatively cheaper since its CO2 costs are zero. The zero-cost of CO2, in addition to the savings from the zero-fuel costs involved in producing wind power, means lower electricity prices for consumers since the wind-powered electricity companies will pass the savings on to the consumer. Once this happens on a wide scale, the polluting power technologies will be pushed out of the electricity market as they become comparatively too expensive compared to wind.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

What is a feed-in tariff?

Electricity from renewable energy sources is supported by EU governments in different ways, known as “support mechanisms’”. The most common support mechanism for electricity from renewable energy sources is the feed-in tariff (green electricity quotas in combination with tradable green certificates are also used in countries such as Belgium, Sweden, and Romania).

Under a feed-in tariff, electricity utilities must buy renewable electricity at a price that reflects what it cost to generate it. Under this system, the renewable electricity is dispatched in priority to the grid and producers generally sign long-term contracts (12-25 years) for the energy produced. These instruments allow renewables to be developed, and investors to get a reasonable return on renewable energy investments.

From 2010, feed-in tariffs were in place in Austria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Switzerland.

Certain countries (Denmark, Spain) use a feed-in premium. This is where green electricity producers get the market price plus a fixed premium. This system, which exposes green electricity producers to market dynamics, is well adapted to countries with a large penetration of wind power. Germany gives green electricity producers the possibility to choose between a feed-in tariff and a feed-in premium.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Does the wind industry depend on subsidies?

Although electricity produced by wind is supported by governments, oil, gas, coal and nuclear all receive subsidies, and, despite having been subsidised for more than 50 years, continue to get substantially more than wind.

The International Energy Agency’s 2011 World Energy Outlook shows that in 2010, renewables got just $1 for every $6-7 given by governments to fossil fuels.

“Fossil fuels [are] still receiving four times the level of subsidies [as renewable energy]”, European Commission said in 2011 (in the Communication: “Renewable Energy: Progressing towards the 2020 target”).

The IEA goes on to forecast that government support for renewables will go up to $250 billion in 2035. That is still – a quarter of a century in the future – less than two-thirds of the sum being doled out to fossil fuels today. The UK has now set aside £54bn for decommissioning its nuclear power stations – enough to pay for wind turbines to produce 40% of UK’s power demand.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Does wind energy reduce fossil fuel imports?

According to the European Council in 2011, the EU imports 54% of its energy and this is set to increase to 70% by 2030. Europe is dependent on countries such as Russia, Algeria and Colombia for oil, gas and coal.

In 2010 each person in the EU paid €706 to countries like Russia, Algeria and Colombia to import oil, gas and coal.

Using an indigenous source of energy such as the wind helps the EU be more self-reliant, providing its own power. In 2012 avoided fuel costs from wind power production were €9.6 bn. This will rise to €22 -27 billion in 2020 and €47-51 billion in 2030.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Does wind energy create jobs?

In 2012, around 249,000 people were directly and indirectly employed by the European wind energy sector – a significant increase from the 182,628 employed in 2007.

Jobs range from manufacturing to services and development.

By 2020, more than 520,000 people will be employed by wind energy. By 2030, that will be up to 795,000.

The European wind industry has grown rapidly: nearly 50,000 additional trained staff will be needed by the industry by 2030. A recent report shows that the European wind industry can play a key role in combatting unemployment.

Category: FAQ topic 4

Economy

Show all / Hide all

fold faq

Is wind power good for the economy?

Yes! Wind energy contributed €32 billion to the EU economy in 2010 and as of 2012, 250,000 people in Europe had a job linked to wind energy - by 2020, the sector will have generated 520,000 jobs.

Between 2001 and 2010 the wind energy sector increased its contribution to GDP by 33%, ever as overall GDP growth slowed. Between 2001 and 2010, jobs in wind energy went up by 30% while EU unemployment rose by 9.6%.

The EU wind energy sector was a net exporter of € 5.7 billion worth of products and services in 2010. The EU accounted for 37.5% of the global wind energy market in 2012.

Wind energy makes Europe less dependent on fuel imports at unpredictable prices - in 2012, wind power production in Europe avoided fuel costs of €9.6 billion. This will rise to €22 -27 billion in 2020 and €47-51 billion in 2030.

Wind-generated power comes at a zero fuel cost and zero CO2 cost, unlike most traditional energy sources. Wind power can also lower electricity prices and bring more competition to the market.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Is electricity from the wind more expensive than fossil fuels?

Find out for yourself using EWEA’s electricity cost calculator, which includes the risk of changing fuel and carbon prices.

The calculator shows that in 2010, onshore wind cost €64.9 per Megawatt hour (MWh): less than coal at €67.6. By 2020 the gap should be even wider – €80.3 for coal and €57.41 for wind.

Nuclear is considerably more expensive than wind energy. ‘In liberalised energy markets, building nuclear power plants is no longer a commercially feasible option: they are simply too expensive”, wrote The Economist in March 2012.

Because the fuel for wind power production does not have a cost, the cost can be predicted with great certainty, unlike the fluctuations in the price of oil, gas and coal. The increase in the oil price over the past few years from $20 to over $100 has added $45 billion to the EU’s annual gas import bill.

The more wind power Europe produces, the less reliant it is on fossil fuels at unpredictable prices.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Is wind power competitive?

Yes, onshore wind power is competitive once all the costs that affect traditional energy sources - like fuel and CO2 costs, and the effects on environment and health – are factored in.

Taking CO2 costs alone - if a cost of €30 per tonne of CO2 emitted was applied to power produced, onshore wind energy would be the cheapest source of new power generation in Europe.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

What does the ETS mean for wind energy and how will it benefit consumers?

Under the Emission Trading System (ETS) 10 000 large CO2 emitters – power and heat producers, oil refineries, steel manufacturers, cement manufacturers, glass manufacturers, bricks and ceramics, and the paper industry -  are able to buy and sell permits to emit CO2.

The ETS works by setting a CO2 cap, or a CO2 allowance, on how much the big polluters can emit. Companies that exceed their CO2 allowance are either fined or allowed to buy unused allowances from greener companies. Buying allowances (at an auction) is cheaper than the fine imposed on companies that exceed their CO2 limit, thereby creating an incentive for companies to reduce their CO2 by investing in green technologies like wind power to reduce their own CO2 emissions and create revenue from selling CO2 allowances.

One MWh of electricity produced by coal emits about a tonne of CO2, one MWh of electricity produced by gas emits about half a tonne of CO2, whereas wind-powered electricity emits no CO2. If gas and coal producers have to pay for their CO2 emissions, wind power becomes comparatively cheaper since its CO2 costs are zero. The zero-cost of CO2, in addition to the savings from the zero-fuel costs involved in producing wind power, means lower electricity prices for consumers since the wind-powered electricity companies will pass the savings on to the consumer. Once this happens on a wide scale, the polluting power technologies will be pushed out of the electricity market as they become comparatively too expensive compared to wind.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

What is a feed-in tariff?

Electricity from renewable energy sources is supported by EU governments in different ways, known as “support mechanisms’”. The most common support mechanism for electricity from renewable energy sources is the feed-in tariff (green electricity quotas in combination with tradable green certificates are also used in countries such as Belgium, Sweden, and Romania).

Under a feed-in tariff, electricity utilities must buy renewable electricity at a price that reflects what it cost to generate it. Under this system, the renewable electricity is dispatched in priority to the grid and producers generally sign long-term contracts (12-25 years) for the energy produced. These instruments allow renewables to be developed, and investors to get a reasonable return on renewable energy investments.

From 2010, feed-in tariffs were in place in Austria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Switzerland.

Certain countries (Denmark, Spain) use a feed-in premium. This is where green electricity producers get the market price plus a fixed premium. This system, which exposes green electricity producers to market dynamics, is well adapted to countries with a large penetration of wind power. Germany gives green electricity producers the possibility to choose between a feed-in tariff and a feed-in premium.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Does the wind industry depend on subsidies?

Although electricity produced by wind is supported by governments, oil, gas, coal and nuclear all receive subsidies, and, despite having been subsidised for more than 50 years, continue to get substantially more than wind.

The International Energy Agency’s 2011 World Energy Outlook shows that in 2010, renewables got just $1 for every $6-7 given by governments to fossil fuels.

“Fossil fuels [are] still receiving four times the level of subsidies [as renewable energy]”, European Commission said in 2011 (in the Communication: “Renewable Energy: Progressing towards the 2020 target”).

The IEA goes on to forecast that government support for renewables will go up to $250 billion in 2035. That is still – a quarter of a century in the future – less than two-thirds of the sum being doled out to fossil fuels today. The UK has now set aside £54bn for decommissioning its nuclear power stations – enough to pay for wind turbines to produce 40% of UK’s power demand.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Does wind energy reduce fossil fuel imports?

According to the European Council in 2011, the EU imports 54% of its energy and this is set to increase to 70% by 2030. Europe is dependent on countries such as Russia, Algeria and Colombia for oil, gas and coal.

In 2010 each person in the EU paid €706 to countries like Russia, Algeria and Colombia to import oil, gas and coal.

Using an indigenous source of energy such as the wind helps the EU be more self-reliant, providing its own power. In 2012 avoided fuel costs from wind power production were €9.6 bn. This will rise to €22 -27 billion in 2020 and €47-51 billion in 2030.

Category: FAQ topic 4
fold faq

Does wind energy create jobs?

In 2012, around 249,000 people were directly and indirectly employed by the European wind energy sector – a significant increase from the 182,628 employed in 2007.

Jobs range from manufacturing to services and development.

By 2020, more than 520,000 people will be employed by wind energy. By 2030, that will be up to 795,000.

The European wind industry has grown rapidly: nearly 50,000 additional trained staff will be needed by the industry by 2030. A recent report shows that the European wind industry can play a key role in combatting unemployment.

Category: FAQ topic 4