European wind capacity overtook coal in 2016

10 Feb 2017

According to European wind association WindEurope (former EWEA), a total of 12,490 MW of new wind capacity - 10,923 MW onshore and 1,567 MW offshore - were added in the European Union, raising the installed wind capacity in Europe to 153.7 GW. This 12.5 GW addition is slightly lower than 2015 installations (+12.8 GW) but new wind capacities accounted for 51% of all new power installations in 2016; renewable energies altogether accounted for 86% of new power plants installations and wind overtook coal as the second largest form of power generation capacity. Wind now accounts for 17% of the EU's power capacity.

Five EU Member States had a record year in new wind energy installations in 2016: France (+1.6 GW to 12.1 GW), the Netherlands (+887 MW to 4.3 GW), Finland (+570 MW to 1.5 GW), Ireland (+384 MW to 2.8 GW) and Lithuania (+178 MW to 493 MW). Turkey also broke its record for annual new installations, with a capacity addition of 1,387 MW, reaching 6,081 MW.

Investment in new onshore and offshore wind farms reached a record €27.5bn. Offshore wind investments rose 39% year on year to €18.2bn, while onshore investments were down 29% at €9.3bn, their first decrease in the last five years. In total, there were 10.3 GW of new wind capacity financed in 2016.

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