Last year, 17.4 GW of new wind power capacity was installed in Europe: 14 GW onshore and 3.4 GW offshore. This is 17.5% more wind power than in 2020 (11 GW) but 11% less than WindEurope’s forecast. However, new wind capacity in Europe is less than half of what Europe needs to build in a year if it is to meet its 2030 climate and energy targets.
According to WindEurope, the UK accounted for the most new wind power installations last year, with 2.7 GW (88% of which were offshore), followed by Sweden with 2.1 GW, Germany with 1.9 GW, Turkey with 1.4 GW and the Netherlands with 1.3 GW. These countries accounted for around 54% of the total number of new installations in Europe last year.
Last year, 3.3 GW of offshore wind capacity was installed in Europe. The United Kingdom had the highest number of offshore wind installations, with 2,317 MW, followed by Denmark with 605 MW and the Netherlands with 392 MW. They accounted for 19% of the total new wind capacity built in 2021. The average capacity of newly built turbines in 2021 was 4 MW for onshore and 8.5 MW for offshore wind farms.
In 2021, wind farms accounted for 15% of Europe’s electricity needs. Denmark (44%), Ireland (31%), Portugal (26%), Spain (24%) and Germany (23%) accounted for the largest share of electricity demand from wind. Lithuania, meanwhile, generates 11.5% of its electricity needs from wind.
A total of 236 GW of wind power is in operation in Europe. 12% of these are offshore. Of the total operating wind power capacity in Europe, 65% is spread across five countries: Germany (64 GW), Spain (28 GW), the UK (27 GW), France (19 GW) and Sweden (12 GW). Lithuania, meanwhile, has only 0.67 GW of wind farms.