7 February 2013
RenewableUK has welcomed new figures showing that the UK is moving up the European league table in terms of wind energy capacity, as well as holding its own near the top spot in terms of new capacity installed in 2012.
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has released new statistics showing that the UK now has 8.4 gigawatts of wind energy installed, overtaking Italy and France. In 2011, the UK was fifth in the league table, with less capacity installed than France or Italy, but we have now moved up to third in Europe. Germany is at the top with 31.3GW and Spain is second with 22.8GW.
According to EWEA, the UK installed 1.9 GW in 2012 – 16% of all new wind capacity in Europe. This puts the UK 2nd in terms of new deployment last year. Only Germany installed more in 2012 (2.4GW - 21% of new capacity).
EWEA highlighted the fact that renewable energy represented 69% of all new power capacity in Europe in 2012, while coal, oil and nuclear capacity continued to decline due to decommissioning.
RenewableUK Deputy Chief Executive Maf Smith said:
“The UK’s strong performance in the European league table reflects the growing importance of the British wind industry as a leading player. This proves the increasing significance of wind energy to the UK’s economy despite tough global economic conditions.
“The Government is calling for the UK to quadruple the amount of wind installed between now and 2020. The industry can achieve 31 gigawatts onshore and offshore by the end of the decade, but only with clear cross-party political support.
"We can attract billions of pounds worth of investment to the UK and create tens of thousands of jobs, but only if the signals from Westminster are right. The proof of this will be in the Energy Bill, which is due to become law by the end of the year. So the decisions taken by Government over next few months are absolutely crucial for the UK’s wind industry”.