2011: EU installs record high of renewable power

By RTCC Staff

Since 2000, 28.2% of new capacity installed has been wind power (source: Vestas)

More renewable power was installed in Europe in 2011 than in any other year, according to a new report from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

Renewable power installation accounted for 71.3% of all new installations, with 32,043 MW out of a total 44,939 MW of new power capacity coming from the technologies.

This was an increase of 37.7% compared to 2010 according to the report.

Wind installations accounted for around a fifth of new installations at 21.4% of total new capacity.

Justin Wilkes, Policy Director at EWEA welcomed the results but said another strong year would be needed in 2012.

“To achieve the EU’s long-term targets we need strong growth again in future years,” he said.

“It is critical to send positive signals to investors by European governments maintain stable policies to support renewables and for the European Union to commit to put in place a binding renewable energy target for 2030.”

While renewable energy capacity increased, so did the total EU installed power capacity from 35,468 MW to 895,878 MW.

2011 also saw more coal power capacity installed than was decommissioned – only the third year since 1998 when this has happened.

The report authors say this highlights the urgent need for the EU to move to a 30% greenhouse gas reduction target for 2020 and to end fossil fuel subsidies.

Other sectors, including gas and nuclear, however, continued to see more decommissioning than installation, according to the report.

Since 2000, 28.2% of new capacity has been wind power, 47.8% has come from renewables and 90.8% has come from a combination of renewables and gas.

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