EWEA cuts 2020 wind forecast

EU nations will install 75GW of wind capacity by the end of the decade to reach a total of 192.4GW, according to new forecasts from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) that scale back 2009 estimates to reflect the latest "realities" facing the sector.

The “central scenario” of EWEA’s new Wind Energy Scenarios for 2020 sees offshore wind accounting for 23.5GW of the total.

That is little more than half of the offshore capacity envisaged in 2009, before Europe’s financial crisis and what EWEA described as “regulatory instability” in several key EU markets.

The 2009 projection was for 230GW of wind, including 40GW offshore, producing a total of 581TWh of power – 15.7% of EU power consumption.

EWEA said it has now adjusted its forecasts to the “realities” facing renewable energy in Europe, but stressed that it still expects wind to generate 442TWh of power in 2020 – meeting 14.9% of EU power consumption, which will itself be 11% lower than expected before the economic downturn.

The wind body told Recharge last November that it was considering an adjustment to the offshore wind forecast, although it was still mulling the prospect of a 25GW-plus contribution at that stage.

EWEA deputy CEO Justin Wilkes said: "A cocktail of regulatory uncertainty, ongoing climate and energy discussions at EU level and rapidly evolving national frameworks has contributed to these new scenarios.

"However, while regulatory stability is still recovering in Europe, onshore markets such as Germany, France, United Kingdom and Poland will remain key for wind power installations.”

Wilkes said offshore wind remains the fastest-growing segment of EU power generation.

And EWEA said the growth that takes place in wind will create more than 100,000 extra jobs in the industry across the EU.