BRUSSELS – Wind power capacity in the European Union touched 169 gigawatts in 2017, an increase of 15.7 GW, or 20 percent with respect to the previous year, breaking an earlier record, according to an annual report released on Tuesday by Wind Europe.
Of the new wind capacity, 12.5 GW was from onshore plants and 3.1 GW from offshore, marking an increase of nine percent and 101 percent, respectively.
“With a share of 18% wind remains the second largest form of power generation capacity in Europe, closing in on natural gas,” said the report, adding that last year 22.3 billion euros ($27.5 billion) were invested in wind energy.
Last year, Germany, France, Finland, Belgium, Ireland and Croatia created new domestic records for new wind power installations, with Germany taking the lead in the EU in both new infrastructure and total capacity.
In 2017, Germany’s installed wind power capacity was 56.1 GW, an increase of 6.6 GW, and accounted for 42 percent of the total new installations in the EU during the year.
Regarding total capacity, it was followed by Spain with 23.1 GW and the United Kingdom with 19 GW.
The Wind Europe report also said that 85 percent of the new capacities for power generation in the EU came from renewable energy, with wind accounting for 65.5 percent of the additional capacity, followed by solar (35.5 percent) and biomass (four percent).