History of Europe’s wind industry

1982

Denmark’s Development Program for Renewable Energy is established

Denmark’s Development Program for Renewable Energy (the UVE program) is established

1985

The EU announces funding for 97 demonstration

The EU announces funding for 97 demonstration projects and trials up to 1989

1986

The Dutch government sets up a financin

The Dutch government sets up a financing programme the ‘Integraal Programma Windenergie’ (IPW) – for the wind turbine industry in the Netherlands

1988

Germany launches 100 MW wind energy

Germany launches 100 MW wind energy support programme

The UK announces plans for its first wind farm

The UK announces plans for its first wind farm

1990

Danish government sets target for 800-1,350 MW

Danish government sets target for 800-1,350 MW of wind energy by the year 2000

1991

Germany introduces feed-in tariff law

Germany introduces feed-in tariff law for renewable energy (Einspeisegesetz) with payment to producers of 90% of retail electricity price per kilowatt hour.

1992

First Spanish wind farms open at Tarifa in Andalucia

First Spanish wind farms open at Tarifa in Andalusia; National Energy Plan envisages up to 200 MW of wind capacity by 2000

United Nations Conference on Environment

United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (“Earth Summit”) in Rio de Janeiro establishes global principles for sustainable development and environmental protection

1993

British Board of Trade announces new government

British Board of Trade announces new government target for wind energy of 3,500 MW of installed capacity

1995

European Commission publishes Green Paper

European Commission publishes Green Paper on energy policy, with commitment to increase contribution from renewables

1996

France launches a tender programme

France launches a tender programme with a target for 500 MW by 2005: “Eole 2005“

1997

The Kyoto Protocol is agreed

The Kyoto Protocol is agreed in Japan, with a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5% of their 1990 level by 2012

An EU White Paper sets non-binding

An EU White Paper sets non-binding goal to double Europe’s share of renewable energy from 6% to 12% (14 to 22% of electricity supply) by 2010

1999

EWEA, Greenpeace and the Danish Forum for Energy

EWEA, Greenpeace and the Danish Forum for Energy and Development publish the Windforce 10 report, showing how wind could generate 10% of global electricity by 2020

2000

New German Renewable Electricity Law

New German Renewable Electricity Law continues support for wind energy through fixed payments per kWh of output over 20 years

2001

European Directive on Electricity from Renewabl

European Directive on Electricity from Renewable Sources sets national indicative targets for each EU member state with an overall goal of 22% by 2010

France introduces fixed tariff support

France introduces fixed tariff support system linked to target for 10,000 MW of wind capacity by 2010

UK opts for Renewables Obligation

UK opts for Renewables Obligation, with rising quota for renewable energy linked to green certificates

2002

EWEA is represented at the Earth Summit

EWEA is represented at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg that calls for more renewable energy around the world

2003

Spanish government sets target for 13,000 MW of wind by 2011

Spanish government sets target for 13,000 MW of wind by 2011

According to a report commissioned

According to a report commissioned by the British government, global offshore wind power would increase from around 170 MW in 2003 to reach almost 11 GW by 2007

2005

US government extends the Production Tax

US government extends the Production Tax Credit incentive to the end of 2007, encouraging new wind industry boom

China sets target for 30 GW of wind power by 2020

China sets target for 30 GW of wind power by 2020

2006

France sets goal to develop more than twice

France sets goal to develop more than twice as much new wind power as new nuclear and coal over the next ten years

European Technology Platform

European Technology Platform for Wind Energy is launched. It aims to direct funding towards research priorities up to 2030

2007

EU adopts new binding target for 20%

EU adopts new binding target for 20% renewables in energy supply by 2020

Eurobarometer survey shows that 71%

Eurobarometer survey shows that 71% of EU citizens are “very positive” about the use of wind power in their country

2008

Italy passes a Financial Act

Italy passes a Financial Act including a green certificate scheme for renewable energy

Nine zones are identified around Britain’s

Nine zones are identified around Britain’s coast for construction of 25 GW of wind farms in the third round of government sponsored offshore development

2009

The EU’s 2009 Renewable Energy

The EU’s 2009 Renewable Energy Directive is agreed, committing Europe to getting 20% of its energy from renewables by 2020

The European Parliament’s energy

The European Parliament’s energy committee agrees to dedicate €565 million to offshore wind projects as part of the EU Economic Recovery Plan

2010

Ten North Seas Countries

Ten North Seas Countries agree to work together to develop an offshore electricity grid

The European Commission allocates over €902

The European Commission allocates over €902 million to electricity interconnection projects as part of its broader European Economic Recovery Plan

The British government announces

The British government announces the go-ahead for offshore wind farm development areas with a capacity ten times greater than Europe’s existing European offshore wind energy capacity

2011

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, Germany announces plans to shut down all nuclear plants by 2022 as well as double the country’s share of renewable energies, including wind energy

The EU Energy Roadmap 2050

The EU Energy Roadmap 2050 is launched, binding renewable energy targets for 2030 could be in place by 2014

The European Parliament votes

The European Parliament votes to create a dedicated budget line for wind energy research and development for the first time

2012

The European Commission launches its Renewable Energy Strategy

The European Commission launches its Renewable Energy Strategy

2013

MEPs offer lifeline

MEPs offer lifeline to the ETS by voting in favour of backloading

2014

European Commission 2030

October: EU heads of state and government set renewables target of 27%

Onshore wind cheaper than coal

Onshore wind cheaper than coal, gas and nuclear, according to European Commission report

2015

February: European Commission launches plan for the ‘Energy Union’

February: European Commission launches plan for the ‘Energy Union’

December: Paris climate deal

December: Paris climate deal shows energy transition commitment towards wind power and more than 70 non-EU countries highlight wind energy in their national climate plans

2016

November: European Commission publishes

November: European Commission publishes a proposal for a revised Renewable Energy Directive to make the EU a global leader in renewable energy and ensure that the target of at least 27% renewables in the final energy consumption in the EU by 2030 is met