Project Development

European Wind Power Markets to Exceed 130 GW by 2015

European wind power markets will continue to grow steadily in the next eight years from a total installed base of 48,452 MW at year-end 2006 to 130,816 MW at year-end 2015, according to a new study from Emerging Energy Research (EER).

“European wind power markets are evolving at three speeds. Large Western European countries Spain and Germany are entering a consolidation phase (1,500 MW to 2,000 MW per year); mid-size Southern and Northern markets are picking up significant momentum (200 MW to 1,000 MW per year); and emerging Eastern European markets are slowly laying the foundation for wind power development (50 MW to 200 MW per year),” said Catalina Robledo, an EER European Wind Energy Advisory analyst.

The report speculates that Spain will remain Europe’s largest growing market through 2015, adding an average of 2,200 MW per year during the next eight years. Like Spain, Germany will continue to be a high-growth market, adding over 1,000 MW per year through the forecast period—with offshore compensating for paced decline onshore after 2012.

While Spain and Germany will account for over 50% of Europe’s wind power capacity through 2015, their participation will diminish over time as other Western European markets scale up and project flow and size increases in a number of Eastern European markets, led by Poland and Turkey.

“European wind power markets are evolving at three speeds. Large Western European countries Spain and Germany are entering a consolidation phase (1,500 MW to 2,000 MW per year); mid-size Southern and Northern markets are picking up significant momentum (200 MW to 1,000 MW per year); and emerging Eastern European markets are slowly laying the foundation for wind power development (50 MW to 200 MW per year),” added Robledo.

In terms of the European offshore market growth, the industry has been hampered by barriers including lengthy permitting processes, technical complexities, low incentive schemes, and lack of turbine availability. Despite these inhibitors, EER anticipates that the offshore market will begin to surge by 2009, surpassing 1 GW per year net additions, with 170 MW to 225 MW installed each in the UK, Germany, and Sweden and single project activations in Belgium, the Netherlands and France.

Between 2010 and 2015, the offshore market will continue adding an average of 1,300 MW per year, growing to 10.4 GW by the end of the forecast period, representing 8% of Europe’s total wind power installed base, according to the study.