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Wind energy to triple by 2020

Brussels, Belgium — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 06 October 2011 – Wind energy will more than triple its power output by 2020 US$261.9 billion invested in European onshore and offshore wind farms in this decade.

So says Justin Wilkes, policy director of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), adding that:  “This success is mainly driven by a strong EU regulatory framework to 2020, which we need also after 2020.”
Electricity production from wind power is expected to increase from 182 TWh or 5.5% of total EU demand in 2010, to 581 TWh or 15.7% of total demand in 2020.

By 2020, said EWEA, electricity production from wind will be equivalent to the total electricity consumption of all households in France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the U.K. combined.

By 2030, 1,154 TWh (28% of total demand) is projected to be produced by wind, more than the EU’s predicted 241 million private households are expected to consume in 2030, according to EWEA forecasts, an increase by a factor of five on today’s figures.

EWEA has also published its offshore wind energy statistics for the first half of 2011, showing a comfortable 4.5% increase in installations of offshore capacity compared with the first half of 2010.

“The sector is coming out of the financial crisis but is still facing a potential worsening of the general economic crisis. The number of banks providing capital for offshore wind farm investments is steadily growing, although there is a continued need for attracting an increasing number of large institutional investors to offshore wind farms “’  presently the largest construction projects going on in Europe,” said Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA.

Several wind farms in Germany and the U.K. will reach financial close in 2011, and “’ the  EWEA says “’ financial institutions will provide a record amount of financing to the sector at over US$4 billion. Between three and five transactions are expected to close during the course of the year.

In the first six months of 2011, 101 new offshore wind turbines totalling 348.1 MW were connected to the power grids of the U.K., Germany and Norway. Offshore wind farms worth US$11.4 billion are currently under construction in European waters.
Once completed, they will represent a total installed capacity of 2,844MW. In Europe, as of June 2011, there were 1,247 offshore wind turbines fully grid-connected with a total capacity of 3,294MW in 49 wind farms spread over nine countries.