Wind power is one of the fastest growing industrial segments in the world.
Being once a niche market in Europe, wind has added more capacity than any other technology over the last decade. Now, wind power nears the 500 GW milestone, providing jobs and power to regions across the globe.
Wind energy is the most efficient solution to reduce emissions in the power sector. Onshore wind is now the cheapest form of new power generation on average across Europe. Its costs fell 60% in the last 10 years. And offshore wind costs fell 50% in just the last two years. Wind power emits no greenhouse gases or air pollutants during its operation and uses minimal water. Wind power is a scalable and reliable renewable energy source on- and offshore, which allows for hedging against fuel price fluctuations.
9 out of 10 Europeans are in favour of wind power in their country. This is because wind mitigates climate change and contributes to energy security and economic growth. With community ownership, wind also gives people a stake in their own energy.
Grid operators can integrate large amounts of wind power. Wind covered 37% of Denmark’s electricity demand last year and generates more than 100% on windy days.
To make the energy transition work, governments need to reinforce and better connect the power grid, which would bring down prices for consumers.
More and more companies are turning green. Investors seek long-term, stable revenues in a low interest rate environment. The European wind sector has long been open to overseas investors, who look at Europe as a major infrastructure hub for onshore and offshore technologies alike. And industrial consumers are hungry for more wind energy as they look for green electricity that comes at stable and competitive prices. Europe today has over 1.2 GW of renewables capacity contracted through corporate power
purchase agreements, 90% of which is in wind energy.
Europe still leads the world in wind technology. Three out of the top five global turbine manufacturers are European. Wind is an asset for Europe with €11bn exported in 2015 and €27.5bn invested in 2016. In comparison with the rest of the world, European wind energy markets are, however, slowing down. Regulatory factors, bad design or slow adaptation to market dynamics, are the main problem. The transition is not self-running but a difficult road leading to a prosperous destination.