2001 was another record year for European wind power

The year 2001 broke the record for wind power, with another 4,500MW, an increase of more than 35% over the 12 months, says the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

Europe now has 17,000MW of wind power capacity, equal to the electricity consumption of 10 million households, and is the equivalent of 16 million tonnes of coal, which would have needed 16,000 train journeys to transport it or 640,000 lorry loads. This means that Europe’s current wind power capacity is saving 24 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, says the EWEA.

Germany is currently the top wind power generator, with 2,650MW of new energy in 2001, reaching a total of 8,750MW – 50% of all European wind power. Three and a half percent of German electricity is now provided by wind power.

Germany’s leadership in the wind power market is set to continue over the next few years, with an ambitious plan to boost its share of electricity consumption to at least 25% by 2025. Offshore capacity is expected to make up the lion’s share, with 20-25,000MW.

Second in the European wind power league is Spain, with 1,000MW of new energy in 2001, reaching a total of 3,300MW. Dropping down from second to third place, is Denmark, with a current total of 2,400MW, and in fourth place is Italy, now with 700MW. Other countries performing well in 2001 were Greece, with 83MW of new wind energy, the UK, with 68MW, and Sweden with 59MW added throughout the year.

Elsewhere, the US has also announced that the country had increased its wind power generating capacity by 1,700MW during 2001, with one state, Texas, installing more than had ever been installed in the entire country in a single year (see related story).

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