Wind power to serve a quarter of Europe `s electricity demand by 2030
Wind power can meet a quarter of Europe `s electricity demand by 2030 if Member States deliver on climate and energy pledges, according to the latest forecasts by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).
Also, in November 2015, EWEA has released its “Aiming High” report. Thus, wind power can exceed gas, coal and other forms of energy by the end of the next decade if European member states follow the ambitious end of the policy framework they `ve set for 2030.
Over the next 15 years, EWEA expects wind power installations in Europe to reach 320GW of capacity, which could serve 24.4% of electricity demand across the region.
Today, Europe `s 128.8GW can meet over 10% of European power consumption in a normal wind year.
Kristian Ruby, Chief Policy Officer of the European Wind Energy Association, said: "Wind energy will be the backbone of the European power sector when we reach the end of next decade."
With 254GW from onshore wind and 66GW coming from offshore installations, the European wind industry will provide up to 334,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2030 in the most feasible scenario.
However, the forecasts are contingent on a number of factors on the political and regulatory front including a clear governance structure for the EU-wide 27% renewables target for 2030, which was agreed last year.
Clear direction is needed from the European Commission to ensure that Member States propose robust national action plans for renewable energy and remain on track to meet the common target.
Ruby said: "The regulatory framework is a key driver in guaranteeing investor certainty. If policy makers get it right, the wind sector could grow even more. If they don `t, we will fall short to the detriment of investments, employment and climate protection".
He added: "Three key challenges must be tackled. A renewable energy directive with a strong legal foundation for renewables in the post-2020 space; a reformed power market tailored to renewable energy integration and, finally, a revitalised Emissions Trading System that provides a clear signal to investors by putting a meaningful price on carbon pollution."
The new scenario looks at both annual and cumulative installations (in MW) and includes a country-by-country breakdown for 2030, but not for intermediate years. The figures for EWEA `s 2030 capacity scenario were developed in cooperation with national associations across Europe and industry leaders.
Wind energy will be the largest source of power supply in the EU by 2030 if governments apply the right level of ambition in their climate and energy policies, according to EWEA `s latest “Aiming High” report. Total wind installations in Europe could reach 392 GW with 294 GW of onshore and 98 GW of offshore wind. Today, Europe `s 128.8 GW can meet 10 % of European power consumption in a normal wind year. Giles Dickson, Chief Executive Officer of the European Wind Energy Association, said: “Wind power can be the foundation of the European energy system within the next 15 years.”
The report outlines a number of policy priorities that need to be addressed including the development of national renewable energy action plans for member states; streamlining national permitting procedures; proposing legislation for well-functioning energy markets and driving reform of the Emissions Trading System. Far from imposing costs on the European economy, these measures will result in a net gain of € 13 billion, the equivalent of the EU `s funding for transport infrastructure over the next five years. The wind industry would also support up to 366,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Click here to read the report Wind energy scenarios for 2030 report.