In 2010, for the third consecutive year, new wind power installations in the European Union will have roughly the same amount of electricity-generating capacity as newly built natural gas power plants, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).
About 10 gigawatts of new wind power capacity is expected to be added in 2010, which would boost total installed capacity to about 85 gigawatts, according to the trade organization.
Natural gas remains the EU’s leading source of generating electricity, producing about 119 gigawatts in 2007, according to industry data.
But while new natural gas power plants had twice the capacity of new wind projects as recently as four years ago, new wind energy capacity has equaled or exceeded natural gas capacity for the last two years, EWEA says.
“It is too early to say whether, for the third year running, there will be more wind energy capacity installed than any other electricity generating technology,” said Christian Kjaer, chief executive of EWEA. “But it is clear that wind energy will be competing for the top spot with new gas power plants.”
Offshore wind projects being built this year in the EU will have about one gigawatt of capacity, compared with about 580 megawatts of capacity last year.
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.
photo: Martin Pettitt