European Wind Energy Grows by 40 Percent

For the first nine months of 2002, Europe’s installed wind energy capacity reached 20,447 MW, 74 percent of the world total, according to a new industry survey published by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

Brussels, Belgium – November 18, 2002 [] “This is a 40 percent increase of European wind energy capacity over the last 12 months, adding further proof that the European wind industry is a high-growth global clean technology leader,” said EWEA Chief Executive Corin Millais. “This European success story for wind energy is just the beginning; within eight years, the total amount of wind energy installed globally can be more than ten times that achieved in Europe today, if the appropriate policies are put in place.” Germany is leading the European expansion, commissioning 1,896 MW of wind energy in the first nine months of 2002, with Spain in second place with 742 MW. Countries which have made good progress after a relatively quiet spell include the Netherlands. France moved into tenth place in the league table with 131 MW. Austria celebrated its 100 MW landmark on the back of one of the highest situated wind farms in the world – at 1,900 meters in the Styrian Alps. “With 50 percent of European wind capacity, the wind power boom in Germany is set to continue,” said Millais. “The German Government announced at the latest climate talks in India last month that it wants a 40 percent cut in greenhouse gases by 2020 in Germany, and a 30 percent cut throughout Europe by 2020. Wind energy has proven itself to be one of the most powerful technology solutions for tackling climate change”. A total of 84 percent of European wind energy capacity is installed in Germany, Spain and Denmark. Wind energy now accounts for 4 percent of national electricity consumption in Germany, and 18 percent in Denmark. About 80 percent of all wind turbines sold worldwide are manufactured by European companies. At the Earth Summit in September and the UN climate negotiations in India last month, EWEA launched its industry strategy-Wind Force 12 – a blueprint to achieve 12% of the world’s electricity from wind power by 2020.


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