The European wind industry has made a great start to the new year, generating more power in a single day on 3 January than ever before. The figure was announced by the European wind industry association, WindEurope, and is fruit of continuing growth in installed capacity, which the consultancy firm, Make Consulting, expects will top 300 GW by the end of 2026.
Wind turbines across Europe generated a record daily high last Thursday, producing 2,128 GWh (onshore: approximately 1,900 GWh, offshore: around 229 GWh), with production records also broken in France (218 GWh) and Germany (925 GWh). Wind accounted for 22.7% of Europe’s electricity mix. According to WindEurope, the energy produced could power 215 million EU households or meet 75% of the average industrial electricity demand in Europe.
The previous record output was set on 22 February last year, when 1,826 GWh was produced across the continent.
The new record comes off the back of every increasing capacity in the European wind sector, which the consultancy firm, Make Consulting, expects will expand by a further 161 GW (39 GW of which will be offshore) over the next decade. This growth will take Europe’s total cumulative capacity to 302 GW by the end of 2026 – second only to China
The consultancy firm forecasts in its Europe Wind Power Outlook 2017 report that the largest advances will be in Germany, as developers rush to install as much capacity as possible during 2018 ahead of the feed-in tariff phase-out at the end of the year. Growth in Germany will also be boosted by tweaking the country’s auction system to improve clarity over project timelines and completion rates. Further cost reductions will also play a part, evidenced by the recent zero-subsidy bids submitted in Germany’s first competitive auction towards the end of last year.