Which European Countries Are Leading the Switch to Wind Power?
June 19th, 2023
European leaders and powerhouses in wind energy are Denmark, Germany, and the UK. As far as new installations are concerned, Germany is still leading, however, other countries are now catching up.
According to data by WindEurope, last year Denmark was the highest contributor of wind power to energy consumption (55 percent). Ireland was second (34 percent), while UK came in third (28 percent). Germany was not far behind UK, and was fourth (26 percent).
Wind energy is the key to Europe’s climate targets and energy security. The European Union wants to increase it from 17% to 43% of Europe’s electricity consumption by 2030. Pawel Czyżak, senior energy and climate data analyst at the think tank Ember, told EuroNews that “Wind power is perhaps the most important technology for Europe’s decarbonization, in many countries the cheapest and potentially largest domestic source of electricity that can replace volatile imported fossil fuels.”
“The main lesson I would draw from countries like Denmark, Germany and the UK, is that you have to have a clear and stable strategy and ambitious targets. Then you align all of the other policies and spatial planning and permitting and grid planning etc. towards that,” said Czyżak.
Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) Falls Short
The EU aspires to expand its renewables in order to strengthen Europe’s clean energy supply chains. On March 30, 2023, a provisional agreement was reached by the European Parliament and the Council to increase the binding renewable energy target to at least 42.5 percent by 2030.
This, however, is a huge challenge due to Europe’s Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA), which needs to be strengthened. In case NZIA isn’t beefed up, turbines will have to be manufactured outside of Europe, mostly in China.
Almost all the wind farms in Europe today use turbines that have been made in Europe. Over 250 factories around Europe that make turbines and components are facing bottlenecks in Europe’s wind supply chain. Power cables, gearboxes and even steel towers are being bought from China.
Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope says, “Europe wants a green industrial policy. It wants renewables to be made in Europe. But it’s failing on the policies that will actually deliver that. The Net-Zero Industry Act needs beefing up. Public money has to support the expansion of green supply chains, as it does elsewhere in the world. Otherwise the EU Green Deal will be manufactured outside of Europe, and Europe will simply swap its dependency on Russian gas for one on Chinese clean energy equipment. Our existing green supply chains bring jobs, growth and investment to thousands of communities. We’ve got to wake up and preserve that AND build on it. NZIA is our chance. We mustn’t blow it.”
Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Certrec. This content is meant for informational purposes only.