Europe as a whole installed 10,281 MW in 2011, of which 9,616 was installed in the EU-27 countries. If these numbers look familiar it is no surprise, as they are almost identical to the 2010 market numbers, which is symbolic of the stability of the European market provided by the long term policy framework of the renewables directive. Total European capacity now stands at 96.6 GW, of which 93.95 GW is in the EU-27 countries.

   Lake Ostrowow, Wolin, Poland © Wind Power Works

While the distribution of the market changes from year to year, the industry marches forward towards its 2020 target of supplying 14-16% of Europe’s electricity by the end of the decade, up from the 6.3% of EU demand supplied by the current level of installations in an average wind year.

 Offshore installations declined very slightly in 2011 to 866 MW, just 17 MW less than in 2010, bringing total installations to 3,813 MW, accounting for about 9% of the European market. The majority of these installations were in the UK, cementing the UK’s position as the European (and global) leader in offshore deployment, passing 2,000 MW installed in 2011. Denmark is in second place with 857 MW.

 In terms of annual installations, Germany was by far the largest market in 2011, installing 2,086 MW of new capacity. The UK came in second with 1,293 MW including 752 MW of offshore capacity, followed by Spain (1,050 MW), Italy (950 MW), France (830 MW), Sweden (763 MW) and Romania (520 MW). Turkey and Poland also had good years, installing 470 MW and 436 MW respectively.