Wind – Europe

In 2017, Europe installed 16.8GW of additional wind power capacity, marking a record year on annual installations. With a total net installed capacity of 169GW, wind energy remains the second largest form of power generation capacity in Europe, closely approaching gas installations. 2017 was a record year for both onshore and offshore installations. The EU added 12,484MW onshore and 3,154MW offshore. link  Of the top eight countries supplied by wind energy, latest figures show four are in Europe. Germany’s total is 56,132MW, followed by Spain with 23,121MW, United Kingdom with 18,872MW and France with 13,759MW . (The leading two nations are China –188GW, and the USA – 89,077MW.)  



  • Overview
  • Off-shore wind power
  • Move towards the European super grid

The European Wind Energy Agency (EWEA) set a new 230GW target for 2020, an example of the industry’s confidence and the growing recognition of what wind power can offer European citizens. Britain has an ambitious goal of 33GW of wind power by 2020. (The 2010 target set by the European Commission was 40GW.)    More on U.K. wind

March 2013: EU wind power exceeds the 100GW threshold. 2012 proved to be a milestone for EU wind power, as installed wind power generation capacity increased by 12.3% to exceed the 100 GW threshold. At the end of year, EU wind power capacity accounted 105.6GW due to a new capacity of 11,840MW which came online in 2012. link

Off-shore wind power

February 2018: Record EU off-shore wind in 2017. Europe now has a total installed offshore wind capacity of 15,780MW, generated by 4,149 grid-connected wind turbines spread across 94 wind farms in 11 countries. Still, a new record installation rate for offshore wind is expected in 2019, and by 2020, Europe will have 25GW of grid-connected offshore wind, according to WindEurope’s report. link

January 2014: Off-shore wind in Europe. The European Offshore Wind Industry estimates that by 2020 Europe’s offshore grid should have a capacity of 40GW and by 2030 it should have 150GW, enough to provide 14% of the EU’s electricity demand. Britain has the most installed capacity with 3.68GW while Denmark is a distant second with 1.27 gigawatts. link  (Pictured left: turbines along the Kent coast opened in 2010.100 turbines expected to supply 200,000 homes.)

June 2017: Europe about to go into overdrive with offshore wind power. The governments of Germany, Denmark and Belgium backed a pledge to install 60GW of new offshore wind power next decade, more than fivefold existing capacity. The statement build son an agreement by 10 northern European countries last year to work together to cut the cost of installing wind turbines at sea; prices for offshore wind in Europe fell by 22% in 2016 alone. (There were about 13.8GW of offshore wind globally in 2016.) link

 Move towards the European super grid.

April 2014: The creation of a single European electricity market has been moving in a positive direction. With the EU Electricity Liberalization Directive agreed by all Member States forming the framework of EU energy policy, the overarching goal is for consumers to benefit from an internal market governed by coordinated rules for the implementation of renewables and development of the electricity network. Naturally, there is still a long way to go in terms of establishing a single market, particularly in terms of the connection and integration of national electricity markets, the physical interconnections between Member States, and the promotion and facilitation of cross-border market-balancing. link

January 2010: Sun, wind and wave-powered: Europe unites to build renewable energy ‘supergrid’. By autumn, nine EU governments (Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden and Ireland and the UK) hope to have a plan to begin building a high-voltage direct current network, a super-grid of renewable energy sources, within the next decade. It will be an important step in achieving the pledge that, by 2020, 20% of its energy will come from renewable sources. link

December 2010: A North Sea off-shore electric grid serving Europe agreed. The grid will link the ten member countries across Europe making it easier for member states to trade energy. The off-shore wind farms in the North Sea are expected to exploit 140GW of energy. link

Return to Wind Page