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07 Feb 2011 12:02:55

2010 beat records for offshore wind

A staggering 9.3 GW of new wind power capacity was installed in the European Union during 2010, reaching a total of 84 GW by the end of 2010, according to figures released by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

In its latest report, "Wind in power: 2010 European statistics", the association has shared that while offshore wind power installations grew 51% from 582 MW in 2009 to 883 MW last year, onshore wind power installations (8.4 GW) were down 13.9% compared to 2009 (9.7 GW). With 883 MW of new installed capacity, offshore wind power represented 9.5% of all new wind power installations (in MW).

Investment in EU wind farms in 2010 was €12.7 billion. The onshore wind power sector attracted €10.1 billion during 2010, whilst the offshore wind power sector accounted for around €2.6 billion. 9,259 MW of wind power capacity (worth some €12.7 billion) was installed in the EU during 2010, down 10% compared to the previous year.

Remarkable growth in the onshore wind markets of Romania, Poland and Bulgaria could not make up for the decline in new onshore installations in Spain, Germany and the UK. Strong development of the offshore wind market was led by the UK, Denmark and Belgium, said Christian Kjaer, CEO of the association.

In terms of annual installations, Spain was the largest market in 2010, installing 1,516 MW, compared to Germany's 1,493 MW. France was the only other country to install over 1 GW (1,086 MW), followed by the UK (962 MW) and Italy (948 MW). Sweden (604 MW), Romania (437 MW), Poland (382 MW), Portugal (345 MW) and Belgium (350 MW) also all performed strongly. Offshore installations accounted for 9.5% of total EU installations in 2010.

Wind power installations accounted for 16.7% of new installations in 2010, the first year since 2007 that wind power did not install more than any other generating technology. Following two consecutive years of installing less power capacity than the wind industry, gas installed more capacity than any other generating technology in 2010 with 28 GW, representing 51% of total new installed capacity.

Solar PV installed 12 GW (21.7% of total capacity), followed by wind with 9.3 GW (16.7%). In addition, 4,056 MW (7.3%) of coal, 573 MW (1%) of biomass, 405 MW (0.7%) of CSP , 208 (0.4%) of large hydro, 200 MW (0.4%) of peat, 149 MW (0.3%) of waste, 145 MW (0.3%) of nuclear, 25 MW of small hydro, 25 MW of geothermal, and zero MW of tidal and wave capacity were installed. Significantly, no fuel oil capacity was added in the EU during 2010.

Overall, 2010 was a record year in the EU with 55.3 GW of new electricity generating capacity installed, more than double 2009 installations (a 102% increase).

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