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Report Excerpt - EWEA - Wind energy scenarios for 2020

EWEA’s new central scenario expects 192 GW of wind installations to produce 442 TWh meeting 14.9% of electricity consumption in 2020

Wind energy scenarios for 2020Wind energy scenarios for 2020


EWEA's previous wind energy scenarios were published in 2009 ("Pure Power 2") following the adoption of the EU's Renewable Energy Directive. They were subsequently re-published in 2011 ("Pure Power 3"). The scenarios looked at both annual and cumulative installations and included a country breakdown for 2020, but not for intermediate years. The headline figure was 230 GW (of which 40 GW offshore) producing 581 TWh of electricity, meeting 15.7% of electricity consumption. EU electricity consumption for 2020 was projected to be  3,689.5 TWh.

Reasons for the new scenarios

In light of developments since 2009, not least the economic downturn and regulatory instability in a number of key European markets, EWEA has reviewed its 2020 scenarios according to present and expected realities. The European Commission now expects final power demand in 2020 to be 11% lower than it did in 2009 (2,956 TWh gross final consumption in EU27, instead of 3,336 TWh). In reality, therefore, the Commission does not expect EU power demand to increase above its 2008 peak until after 2020. This economic reality has had a impact on demand for new power installations for all generation technologies.

The economic reality has also fed through to the stability of regulatory and market frameworks for wind energy, both onshore and offshore. This has impacted investment plans, new orders, investment decisions already taken, and existing installations in markets across Europe. Retroactive and retrospective changes to regulatory and market frameworks have had a particularly negative impact on the wind energy sector, especially in certain markets

Proposed new scenarios

Given the expectations for energy demand, the persisting instability in numerous markets across Europe, the rapidly changing national policy frameworks for wind energy, the new round of climate and energy discussions at EU level on a policy framework to 2030, and the potential impact of the 2015 COP climate negotiations in Paris, it is apparent that a single growth scenario for wind energy is no longer sufficient. Consequently, EWEA is proposing three growth scenarios to 2020. These are based on the premise that the instability experienced in wind energy markets to date is not fully compensated for by new installations in the latter half of the decade, particularly offshore.

It does not necessarily follow that lower installations will undermine the EU’s 20% renewable energy target being met. As the 20% target is a consumption target, and with consumption in 2020 being lower than previously expected, meeting the target with fewer installed MW producing fewer TWh is feasible. EWEA’s new central scenario expects 192 GW of wind installations to produce 442 TWh meeting 14.9% of electricity consumption in 2020.

The central scenario will result in cumulative installations over the seven year period of 75 GW and an investment volume in wind farms of between €90 billion and €124 billion, with the leading markets being Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Poland and Italy. By 2020, 354,000 people (up from 253,000 today) will be employed in the European wind industry.

1 Pure Power – wind energy targets for 2020 and 2030, EWEA, 2011.
2 EU Energy, transport and GHG emission trends to 2050. Reference Scenario 2013.
3 EU energy trends to 2030 http://ec.europa.eu/energy/observatory/trends_2030/doc/trends_to_2030_update_2009

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European Wind Energy Association
Edited by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist / by EWEA Staff

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