UK, Germany drive EU wind power investment
Germany and the UK drove EU wind power capacity increases last year, but other traditionally strong markets saw sharp declines in the wake of subsidy cuts, new figures indicate.
The two countries installed around 60% of all new wind power capacity in the EU in 2014, increasing the industry’s concentration in a few countries.
Traditionally large markets in Denmark, Spain and Italy saw drastic declines in the installation rate with the drop in Denmark exceeding 90%. This reflects the negative impact of regulatory and political certainty on the market across Europe, wind industry association EWEA said.
The emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe also had a reduced share of the total EU market due to retroactive legislative changes in Romania and uncertainty about the impact of a new renewables law on the support system in Poland, according to the industry. They represented 7.1% of new installations.
EWEA’s Thomas Becker said he expects the trend of market concentration in key countries to continue this year “while markets in eastern and southern Europe continue to struggle in the face of erratic and harsh changes in the policy arena”.
The renewable energy industry has warned that subsidy cuts in countries such as Italy and Spain will put a break on clean energy development.
Investment in more expensive offshore wind declined with new installations down by 5.3% compared to the previous year.
Following increasing concerns over energy costs in many countries, the European Commission has said that it will start to analyse energy subsidies and taxes in EU countries and promote cross-border collaboration on renewable energy support schemes.